WISCONSIN, ARE YOU THERE?
SPORTSDESK - No, this is not an update to say Wisconsin high school sports won't happen in the fall. It's also not an update to say that they will, unfortunately for us and sports fans in the state. So why is it that high school sports fans in North Dakota, Michigan, and Iowa are high fiveing (or high elbowing) at the 10 yard line, on the volleyball court, the grassy fields of the cross country route, and the corner of the soccer field? It's because their states have approved the full, yes full, start of a regular fall sports season.
Yet, as we've spoken to area coaches, athletic directors, district administrators, and Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Associate officials, they have all pointed the finger at each other, expecting somebody else to decide the fate of thousands of high school student/athletes looking to experience sports in 2020/2021. Or others in these same positions have shrugged shoulders, rolled eyes, and refused to answer the question of fall sports. Not saying yes, not saying no, flat out refusal to be on the hook with an answer. Wisconsin, are you there?
Perhaps that proverbial hook of responsibility is the abstract, imaginary responsible party. You see, the hook can make you responsible for the outcome. It can make you responsible should things not go the way you had hoped. It can make you responsible to answer screaming moms, angry townsfolk, and the disapproving glare of negative Nellies far and wide. The hook can also have a positive and successful ending. The hook, should your shaking, clammy, nervous hands gather up enough gusto and confidence to put yourself on the line to make an affirmative decision, can be the place where you allow your head to be held high and proud.
What if you didn't have to guess at making a decision to provide thousands of high school student/athletes the opportunity to have a fulfilling school sports season? What if there was actual evidence, actual game play that has happened this summer, in Wisconsin, to use as a stable foundation to make your decision from? What if we told you that there have been hundreds of sporting events filled with high school aged kids that have happened all summer long? Sporting events that include golf, baseball, fast pitch softball, volleyball, football and every other kind of sport we play. What if, after almost two months of these competitions, all participants are still standing and happy? Wisconsin, are you there?
North Dakota, Michigan, Iowa - a list not impressive enough to help calm your eye rolls and shrugged shoulders? Ok. Arkansas, Colorada, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Utah. These state have also approved the full resumption of all high school fall sports. There are another group of states that have approved high school sports in the fall with various start dates that are days or weeks later than last year.
We could get a final decision this week. We could get a final decision next week. We could get a continuation of nobody willing to be confident on the hook and everybody sitting silently at the table staring blankly at each other.
Wisconsin, are you there?