Potential return dates for spring high school sports in Wisconsin

While the coronavirus has cancelled most professional sporting events well into May and June, and all college athletics through the end of the spring semester, high school sports still have a shot of getting in at this stage, as unlikely as it seems.

Spring sports continue to be on hold, not cancelled, in Wisconsin. What does the timeline look like for a return to competition if schools are re-opened after April 24? Here's a breakdown by sport, as well as how viable a full schedule would be before the playoffs begin. Generally, any school closures beyond May 8 will impact the Tournament series in several spring sports. Also, some schools won't be able to practice April 25 or 26, depending on their conference rules.

All dates are taken from the WIAA season and tournament regulations, which can be found on each sports' page on the WIAA website (by clicking here).

Please note that this is as things are written for a normal schedule. The WIAA and member schools may come up with something entirely different as it relates to the Tournament series in each sport, given the extraordinary situation the world is in right now. So all of this is subject to change.

Softball

  • Four games required to be eligible for WIAA Tournament
  • Seven days of team practices required before competition begins (so eight days minimum since the WIAA requires a day of rest from team activities each week)
  • First day games would be played is May 4 (assuming practice April 25, 27-May 2 and days of rest on April 26 and May 3)
  • Big 8 won’t play conference matchups until May 10
  • Postseason begins May 21 (D2-D5) and May 26 (D1)
  • Assuming Sundays are rest days, that leaves 15 days for competition for D2-D5 and 19 days for D1
  • Maximum of 26 games can be played

It would be exceptional, but possible for a team, especially in D1, to play a full schedule (using double-headers and jamborees to play multiple games in one day). A minimum 12-day window (eight for practices, four for games) is required for the Tournament to get in with minimum requirements, so any school closures after May 8 would impact the playoffs.

Track and Field

  • Four games required to be eligible for WIAA Tournament
  • Seven days of team practices required before competition begins (so eight days minimum since the WIAA requires a day of rest from team activities each week)
  • First day competition would be played is May 4 (assuming practice April 25, 27-May 2 and days of rest on April 26 and May 3)
  • Big 8 won’t play conference matchups until May 10
  • Postseason begins May 26 – Regional entry forms are due May 22
  • Assuming Sundays are rest days, that leaves 19 days for competition
  • Maximum of 20 meets can be held

It isn’t possible at this stage for a team to play a full schedule. A minimum 12-day window (eight for practices, four for meets) is required for the Tournament to get in with minimum requirements, plus the regional entry deadline of May 22, so any school closures after May 8 would impact the playoffs.

Boys Tennis

  • Four meets required to be eligible for WIAA Tournament
  • Four days of team practices required before competition begins
  • First day competition could be played is April 29
  • Big 8 won’t play conference matchups until May 10
  • Postseason begins May 26 – qualifying entries due May 21
  • Assuming Sundays are rest days, that leaves 19 days for competition
  • Maximum of 15 meets can be held, and no more than one per day

It’s unlikely a team will play a full schedule, but technically possible (no limit on meets during a week in the WIAA rules). A minimum nine-day window (four for practices, four for meets) is required for the Tournament to get in with minimum requirements, plus the qualifying entry due on May 21, so any school closures after May 8 would impact the playoffs.

BASEBALL

  • Four games required to be eligible for WIAA Tournament
  • Seven days of team practices required before competition begins (so eight days minimum since the WIAA requires a day of rest from team activities each week)
  • First day games would be played is May 4 (assuming practice April 25, 27-May 2 and days of rest on April 26 and May 3)
  • Big 8 won’t play conference matchups until May 10
  • Postseason begins May 28 (D2-D4) and June 2 (D1)
  • Assuming Sundays are rest days, that leaves 21 days for competition for D2-D4 and 25 days for D1
  • Maximum of 26 games can be played

It would be extreme, but possible for a team, especially in D1, to play a full schedule (using double-headers to play multiple games in one day). A minimum 12-day window (eight for practices, four for games) is required for the Tournament to get in with minimum requirements, so any school closures after May 15 would impact the playoffs.

Girls Soccer

  • Four games required to be eligible for WIAA Tournament
  • Seven days of team practices required before competition begins (so eight days minimum since the WIAA requires a day of rest from team activities each week)
  • First day games would be played is May 4 (assuming practice April 25, 27-May 2 and days of rest on April 26 and May 3)
  • Big 8 won’t play conference matchups until May 10
  • Postseason begins June 2
  • Assuming Sundays are rest days, that leaves 25 days for competition
  • Maximum of 24 games can be played

It would be extremely difficult, but possible, for a team to play a full schedule. A minimum 12-day window (eight for practices, four for games) is required for the Tournament to get in with minimum requirements, so any school closures after May 20 would impact the playoffs.

Boys Golf

  • Four meets required to be eligible for WIAA Tournament
  • Three days of team practices required before competition begins
  • First day competition could be played is April 28
  • Big 8 won’t play conference matchups until May 10
  • Postseason begins June 2
  • Assuming Sundays are rest days, that leaves 25 days for competition
  • Maximum of 15 meets can be held

It’s unlikely a team will play a full schedule, but technically possible (no limit on meets during a week in the WIAA rules).A minimum eight-day window (three for practices, four for meets, one day of rest) is required for the Tournament to get in with minimum requirements, so any school closures after May 22 would impact the playoffs.

Big 8 Conference issues updated guidance on spring sports - Thumbnail Image

Big 8 Conference issues updated guidance on spring sports

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