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AIA moves winter sports start to Jan. 18
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

AIA moves winter sports start to Jan. 18

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Flagstaff girls soccer wins title

The Flagstaff Eagles girls soccer team hoists the trophy after wining the 4A Conference state championship match last season in February at Williams Field High School in Gilbert.

Another delay has hit winter high school sports in Arizona due to COVID-19.

On Friday, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board voted on and soon after announced that winter sports will be delayed two more weeks due to increasing concerns about COVID-19 rates in Arizona.

Instead of the original Jan. 5 start date that was voted on in November, winter sports will hope to start competition Jan. 18, and the season will end two weeks later. March 5 is scheduled to be end the of the regular season for winter sports.

“Our focus continues to be on keeping students in school and on the playing field safely," Joe Paddock, associate executive director, stated in a press release. "We believe this decision will help us preserve the winter sports season.“

Unlike the limited capacity rule the AIA used for fall sports, no fans will be permitted at winter sports competitions to start.

The AIA noted in a Friday press release that "The only thing that could create a statewide delay or change to this date would be government prohibition or shutdown."

Schools are required to have 14 days of practice before the season.

According to Richard Obert of The Arizona Republic, team schedules remain the same but just need to be adjusted to fit the new start and end dates -- essentially pushing all games just two weeks up.

The spring sports season is scheduled to start practices March 1 with a competition date to be determined later.

Lance Hartzler can be reached at 556-2251 or at lhartzler@azdailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @lance_hartz.

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