The slim hope of a pared-down high school sports season ended on Monday morning, when the Arizona Interscholastic Association announced that all games through the end of the school year have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The AIA cited Governor Doug Ducey's decision to cancel all in-person classes and on-campus activities as reason for doing so.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance for all of our member schools, students and coaches,” AIA executive director David Hines. “We know this decision was a hard one, but one that was necessary to assist in the well-being of everyone across Arizona. We hope everyone stays healthy and focused on what the next chapter will bring.”
Monday's decision brings an end to the high school baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, boys volleyball and girls sand volleyball seasons. The AIA has also canceled all e-sports competitions, though teams may still compete in scrimmage mode only via PlayVS.
The AIA's 2020 Champions Gala will be held virtually; the AIA says coaches and administrators can nominate all deserving athletes through the end of the week.
Monday's announcement was a logical continuation of what the AIA has been saying for weeks. It announced on May 16 that it was suspending all sporting events for two weeks, and was planning to resume when schools reopened March 30. Four days later, following Ducey's decision to extend school closures, the AIA announced that all sporting events were suspended indefinitely. At the time, the governing body held out hope for the playoffs.
"However," it said then, "discussions for the administration of any postseason tournaments will not take place until after schools are back in session."
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