PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — After three hours of discussion, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) voted today to cancel winter sports this season. The vote came down to a 5 to 4 decision by the members of the board. This means high school sports will not happen this winter for students.
In a statement released Friday, they say that due to the continued presence of Covid-19 and having the nation’s highest rate of coronavirus hospitalizations, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) made a recommendation yesterday to the AIA’s Executive Board to cancel the high school winter sports season.
“We do not see the situation improving very quickly. Unfortunately, it does not appear that there will be adequate time before the start of the spring season for a winter season to occur,” said Executive Board President Toni Corona.
Originally the competition was going to start on January 18th through March 1, but it will no longer happen due to COVID-19 concerns.
Some high schoolers were upset with the decision.
“Unfortunately, it is expected that the state will see a continued rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations for some time. As medical professionals, we cannot in good conscience recommend that students engage in a winter season under the current conditions,” said SMAC Committee Chair Dr. Wilson.
“While we understand the Board’s position, we are saddened by this decision, especially considering that Club sports are continuing. To the best of our knowledge, never in our 100-plus-year history has the AIA canceled an entire season. We want nothing more than for our students to be active in school and participating in interscholastic sports and activities. It is my sincerest hope that all Arizonans will follow the CDC and Arizona Health guidelines by wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing social distance to decrease cases and hospitalizations. If for no other reason, I hope we can do it for the kids.” said AIA Executive Director David Hines.
AIA officials say Spring sports, which are scheduled to begin March 1, will be dependent upon statewide metrics improving and further evaluation by SMAC and the Executive Board.