The Badger Conference, which includes Beaver Dam and Watertown, announced on Friday that they will not sponsor any league games or crown conference champions this fall because local health regulations won’t allow every team to compete. The 16-team league stretches across seven counties and the schools in Dane County are not currently allowed to participate in fall sports, which may lead those schools to pursue the WIAA option of moving their fall sports season to the spring as allowed by the WIAA.
At this point, Beaver Dam and Watertown High Schools both plan on continuing with fall sports as planned with new WIAA start dates of August 17th for girls tennis, girls swimming, girls golf cross country and September 7th for football, boys and girls volleyball and boys soccer.
Athletic Directors will begin to workout scheduling events once they know which schools plan on participating in the fall sports season.
Here is a copy of the press release sent out today….
Badger Conference Fall 2020 Statement
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly posed challenges for planning events of all types throughout our nation, state, and local communities. The goal of the Badger Conference, first and foremost, continues to be the health and safety of our school district communities. Regardless of the type of event, health and safety must come first.
We have always viewed sports as an important component to the educational process. Participation in sports provides opportunities for developing and cultivating a variety of skills, such as communication, teamwork, discipline, leadership skills and respect for others.
The Badger Conference supports the fact that education-based athletics is a privilege, not a right, which requires an added level of responsibility for those who administer them and serve as a partner in the education of student-athletes.
While we look to guidance from a variety of sources, the ultimate source for school districts and athletics comes from local public health departments. Interestingly, the 16 schools of the Badger Conference must work with their local health department, (the conference spans 7 different counties), each with their own guidelines. This means that plans will vary in different parts of the conference and state, depending on how the virus is spreading in the local area and the guidance from county health departments.
Since all member schools are not able to participate fully in conference contests during the current fall season dates as scheduled, Badger Conference competitions will not be held and conference champions will not be named. The WIAA has said that schools which are unable to start fall sports in 2020, may have an opportunity in the spring to conduct their fall seasons. All schools will be supported in their local decisions and may have the option to schedule non-conference competitions in fall sports, so long as they follow the guidance of the WIAA and local public health officials.
We understand the need to be flexible, adaptable, and use creative thinking as we move forward and appreciate the understanding of our school communities as we continue to work together to navigate the COVID-19 situation. Therefore, we are committed to offering opportunities to our students, assuming it is safe and allowable as determined by public health.
We hope everyone remains safe and healthy. We will be back stronger than ever, when the time is right. “WE ARE BADGER CONFERENCE STRONG!”
If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at [email protected]