SIERRA VISTA —The Arizona Interscholastic Association decided to follow Governor Ducey and “delay the resumption of all school-related athletics and activities” until Aug. 17.

“We couldn’t be more disappointed about the information that just came out regarding our schools. However, we understand that the most pressing concern is to ensure our student-athletes can return to school in the safest way possible,” Executive Director David Hines said in the AIA press release.

“We will do everything in our power to make sure that when we get back up and going again, the transition will be as seamless as possible and to create memorable interscholastic experiences. And we’ll be able to accomplish that as long as everyone does their part to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.”

The AIA said schools are able to follow summer protocols and have small group workouts at the discretion of the individual district and school. This allows schools to continue what they have been doing and others to start.

“The AIA does not regulate the summer,” AIA Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky told the Herald/Review. “While there are rules about recruiting/prior contact, summer camps, individual instruction, open gyms, etc., the schools may regulate their own summer workouts and programs. Our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee’s phases for summer workouts are guidelines and are not actual rules.”

“So the ruling … basically extended the summer rules of sport governance through Aug. 16. And if the governor’s timeframe holds true, AIA rules for in-season sport governance would automatically kick in on Aug. 17,” he added.

Fall schedules will be adjusted with the new timeline but no specific information about how or when was released.

“Exact dates for the beginning of competition will not be finalized until the AIA gathers much-needed information from the schools to present to the AIA Executive Board for consideration,” the press release states.

“If revised timelines for the fall interfere with the winter sports season, those schedules will also be addressed at a later date. Additional information will be shared as the association navigates through these developments.”

Tombstone Unified School District Superintendent Robert Devere said their athletes will continue in their small group workouts, following both the summer policies and safety guidelines. Douglas High School was planning to start on July 6, but athletic director Angel Ortega didn’t want to provide a comment about the new AIA directions because they are still working on a plan for implementing sports.

Buena High School was set to start summer workouts on Wednesday, but the school’s administration decided Tuesday to “tentatively move” the start date to July 15. Students may still be given individual workouts but no small groups can be had.

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