Hot Corner: A wild week in sports
By Rich Palzewic
BROWN COUNTY – What a wild week in sports.
First, the Big 10 announced it was canceling its fall football season, then the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) unveiled an alternate fall sports season at its Aug. 14 meeting for schools unable or not willing to play this fall.
The board also said the traditional winter and spring seasons will have adjusted starting and ending dates to accommodate the alternate fall season.
To view the updated WIAA calendar for the 2020-21 school year, CLICK HERE.
The number of weeks of competition was reduced, but the WIAA said teams could still play the same amount of games they normally do.
What does all of this mean for local sports fans?
In a nutshell, the alternate fall season will be crammed between the traditional winter and spring seasons.
School districts have until Sept. 1 to declare whether they will play sports this fall or move their seasons to the spring.
If schools don’t play this fall, the alternate fall season begins in March, with the traditional spring season start dates being pushed back to the middle of April.
The spring seasons won’t end until later in June next year.
Later in the day on Aug. 14, the Green Bay Area Public School (GBAPS) District, which includes East, Preble, Southwest and West, said it was taking advantage of the WIAA’s plan and moving its fall sports to the spring.
On Aug. 18, the FRCC also voted to move its fall sports to the spring.
West De Pere, which is a member of the Bay Conference for all sports except football (where it belongs to the FRCC), could have a tough time finding opponents to play this fall if it doesn’t switch to the spring.
Whatever happens, area schools need to make a decision before the Sept. 1 deadline.
We don’t want what happened in Michigan to happen here.
On Aug. 14, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) moved football from the fall to the spring … after teams had been practicing for five days.
In a released message, the MHSAA said it was postponing football because “it’s a higher-risk sport for the potential spread of COVID-19 due to its level of player-to-player contact.”
No other fall sports were moved, not even boys’ soccer and volleyball, which are considered medium to high-risk.
If that’s the MHSAA’s decision, fine, but why wait until after practice had already started? Didn’t officials know football was a higher-risk sport months ago?
Moving football to the spring in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will be problematic, as many schools don’t see bare ground until May.