Last week’s meeting of the IHSAA Board of Control went on as scheduled, but like most school-related gatherings this spring, took place via video conference call.
The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and subsequent closure of Iowa’s K-12 schools and cancellation of spring sports was a focus of conversation last Wednesday as board members deal with pandemic concerns in their schools, districts, and organizations.
Updates included the drastic changes to IHSAA operations and scheduling since the conclusion of the 2020 State Basketball Tournament on March 13. Past IHSAA activities have been adjusted or shortened due to global considerations (Spanish Flu, World War II), but sport seasons and championships had never faced complete cancellation prior to COVID-19.
The IHSAA and Board of Control will continue to update member schools on summer activities and returning to regular scheduling as information becomes available.
Briefs highlights from the meeting are listed below.
Wrestling advisory updates approved
Five recommendations from the regular April meeting of the IHSAA’s wrestling advisory committee were approved unanimously by the Board of Control last week. The changes, effective in the 2020-21 season:
- To allow schools to opt out of dual team postseason events by the first competition date.
- To qualify the 16 sectional champions and the next eight highest-ranked teams (by the IWCOA) for the regional dual team tournament in Class 2A and Class 1A.
- If a sectional champion opted out of dual team postseason, the next highest-ranked team would qualify.
- To reduce the state traditional tournament seeding criteria regarding common opponents from two points back to one point.
- To seed all 16 wrestlers in each bracket for the state traditional tournament.
- To allow host tournament directors to determine the length of subvarsity matches at local regular season events.
The wrestling advisory committee previously met in February to discuss the State Dual Tournament and wrestling postseason dates. No changes were recommended by the advisory committee at that time.
The NFHS wrestling rules committee announced its updates for the 2020-21 season on Tuesday, April 28.
Unified Calendar set for 2020-21
Activity dates for the 2020-21 school year were set last month by the Unified Activities Federation – the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, the Iowa High School Music Association, the Iowa High School Speech Association, and the IHSAA – and approved by the Board of Control last week.
The calendar now includes a non-contact period through the last week of July for Iowa high school activities, except for those teams participating in the 2021 State Baseball Tournament.
The IHSAA works in collaboration with the three partner organizations to set complementary dates for activities, whenever possible. A PDF of the 2020-21 calendar can be found HERE.
Key dates on the IHSAA calendar appear through www.iahsaa.org/calendar. For other calendar views, NFHS dates, or future calendars, member schools should visit the Coaches & Administrators page at www.iahsaa.org/coaches-administrators.
Dr. Ann Lebo joins board as Department of Education representative
Iowa Department of Education director Dr. Ann Lebo joined the Board of Control for her first meeting as an ex officio member last week.
Lebo was previously the executive director of the state’s Board of Educational Examiners and began her tenure as the Department of Education on March 13, replacing Dr. Ryan Wise. Lebo’s position on the Board of Control is as a non-voting representative offering guidance and oversight on behalf of the Department of Education.
Be sure to follow the IHSAA’s COVID-19 Resource Center page for schedule and activity updates as they become available. Highlights on senior student-athletes will be shared on that page throughout the next month as the entire state adjusts to spring school and sports cancellations.
IHSAA staff continues to work remotely and can be contacted via email: www.iahsaa.org/about/staff.