The past few days we’ve seen a domino effect when it comes to sports seasons and events being postponed or canceled worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as expected, it’s reached prep sports here in Arizona.
“Right now, we are respecting our schools and districts on their decisions whether to travel or not travel, compete [or] not compete,” AIA Executive Director David Hines said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Thursday morning. “There are kind of meeting here in the next two-to-three days to determine what they will do.”
Hines said there will be no penalty should schools cancel or postpone games or tournaments moving forward.
He also feels fortunate Arizona wrapped up their winter sports season before the COVID-19 scenerio became more bleak. Some Midwest states were scheduled to have their high school championships played this week.
The AIA works under the districts and their schools and does not have the power to cancel events, unless instructed by said schools and the districts they compete in.
“What we are paying attention to closely is the state and county health departments, Governor [Doug] Ducey,” Hines explained. “We are paying attention to what they are suggesting. The events we have now we are trying to evaluate.”
One option the AIA has is potentially pushing spring sport championships into the early summer, even after schools are released for the long break.
“We are capable of pushing those back,” he Hines said. “The challenges that we have is what families and what they have planned at that point. If they’re in town, if they’ve left town.”
He also said canceling upcoming events, including state championships, is an option but the situation is still fluid at this point.
The AIA will know more after meeting with their board on Monday to address a myriad of topics in relation to COVID-19.