Just Four days after voting to cancel the winter high school sports season, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Executive Board reversed their original decision in a special meeting on Tuesday and reinstated the winter seasons for boys and girls basketball, soccer, wrestling and spiritline.
The board voted 5-4 to allow the start of winter sports competition on January 18th as previously intended. Board member Jim Love changed his vote to reverse the decision. With the reinstatement of the season comes strict guidelines that the board have put in place. Masks will be mandatory for all participants.
The AIA decision also includes a provision that no fans will be allowed, but that can be reconsidered at some point, said AIA Executive Director David Hines said.
In addition to the masks mandate, all student athletes will have to submit a Covid educational course form showing they met all of the requirements for participation prior to the start of each competition. Hines said that any school that violates any mandatory protocols, will lose access to AIA officials.
Last week, the AIA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommended not to proceed with winter sports, based on the surging coronavirus infection numbers that made Arizona the top hotspot in the country. The decision did not sit well with student athletes or parents. There was a significant backlash from parents, coaches and athletes over the board’s decision.