The Big 8 Conference released a statement on Tuesday, showing that the member ADs voted unanimously to cancel fall sports competitions in the conference with more than half of the schools unable to compete in athletics due to virtual schooling and county public health restrictions.
The Big 8 Conference supports the fact that education based athletics is a privilege, not a right, which requires an added level of responsibility for those that administer them and serve as a partner in the education of student-athletes.
When school delivery methods for the fall of 2020 are determined and the WIAA confirms season regulations and start dates, decisions related to athletics and extra-curriculars will be released by schools as well as the specific plans to support student athletes and programs.
We will continue to get regular updates and guidance from local Public Health officials, DPI, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and communicate with the WIAA to make sure the correct information is released as soon as possible. The next update of timelines and information related to the status of Big 8 athletics can be expected following the regular Big 8 meeting August 17th.
As with the past spring season and during the summer contact period, when school facilities are closed in each district, we will not hold in-person practices or workouts, or allow practice without a coach. As each district allows, to put the physical and mental well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront we will offer sport-specific virtual coaching and workouts provided they do not require student-athletes and coaches to gather or encourage student-athletes to group together. In-person practices and workouts may be allowed to occur in parallel to the instruction model adopted by member schools and following public health recommendations.
Since all member schools are not able to participate fully in conference contests during current fall season dates as scheduled, Big 8 Conference competitions will not be held and conference champions will not be named. Passed 10-0
All schools will be supported in their local decisions and may have the option to schedule non-conference competitions in any fall sports, so long as they follow the guidance of the WIAA and local public health officials.
Please contact your school's athletic director for school-specific information and timelines. Decisions regarding remaining sports during the school year will be made in a similar fashion.
Earlier in July, Waunakee became the first known Wisconsin school district to modify its athletics schedules for the fall, canceling non-conference events in the month of August.
The WIAA Board of Control meets later this week, as does the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, to determine future steps for fall sports in Wisconsin.