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AIA says winter sports will start Jan. 18 in Arizona

The AIA previously pushed back the start of the winter sports season to Jan. 5 last month.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

PHOENIX — After postponing the high school winter sports season in Arizona to Jan. 5, 2021 last month, the Arizona Interscholastic Association has backed it up to Jan. 18.

This decision will allow schools to practice for 14 days prior to the start of competition after returning from winter breaks.   

Below are the new plans from the AIA:

  • The season of competition begins on Jan. 18, 2021. The only thing that could create a statewide delay or change to this date would be government prohibition or shutdown.  March 5, will be the end of the regular season for winter sports.  

  • Conferences will be given the opportunity to decide the total number of weeks of competition, up to the maximum number of weeks allowed by the Executive Board.  

  • All modifications to winter sports established on December 2 remain in effect: schools are required to follow all modifications.  

  • Spring season will start March 1, 2021.  Conferences will have the opportunity to modify the length of the Spring season. 

High school football started in Arizona late September, delayed about one month, after the AIA approved updated recommendations from its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. 

The season ended last week.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 7,635 new cases and 142 new deaths on Friday.

The department did not say whether the high death number was due to death certificate matching.

Friday also marked the third straight day that Arizona reported more than 100 additional known COVID-19 deaths. 

COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Arizona reached 3,931 on Thursday, the latest in a string of pandemic records started earlier this month.