AIA football playoff games continue safely with extensive online coverage via NFHS Network
December 3, 2020 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365
PHOENIX, AZ (December 3, 2020) – In an unprecedented year, the Arizona Interscholastic Association, its member schools, and public health officials have taken actions to safely keep Arizona High School students participating in sports amidst COVID-19 exposure concerns. These actions and recommendations have been developed by the AIA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC )with input from member schools. SMAC is a volunteer committee comprised of medical professionals throughout the state who have led multiple initiatives to make high school sports as safe as possible.
AIA football tournaments are historically highly attended events held in large stadiums. The largest crowd for a single football championship game on record is 23,487 back in 1988. Sadly, with the crowd restrictions currently in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, it is impossible to safely “fill the house” during this tournament season.
“When we put together our five-year strategic plan in 2019, we included a goal to increase fan engagement, and create strong community support of education-based athletics and players,” said David Hines, AIA Executive Director.
He added, “Limiting in-person attendance is something no one wants to do. But with the recent COVID-19 surges, we must put the safety of students, school personnel and families first, and do everything we can to avoid another shutdown.”
Since there are local and state guidelines regarding groups of more than 50, it is important to make certain that families and communities can support their students and teams. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is making all AIA football playoff games available for online viewing. For about the cost of a single in-person ticket ($10.99), a household can gain access to view every playoff and championship game for the entire month of December. Family and friends, from near and far, are encouraged to use the NFHS Network to watch and support their student players and schools.