Call it a summer break from your summer break. Radio Iowa reports that Iowa student-athletes and summer extracurricular activity participants, including those in speech and music, will be given a week off from their activities in July.

Participation in sports and activities is a beneficial rite of passage and key to the future for many students and has already been fluctuating for the past year due to the pandemic.

But what was also learned during the pandemic is that rest and precious, pressure-free time with family are also crucial. With this in mind, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) will be updating their summer calendars to include the implementation of "Family Week".

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It starts this summer during the week of Sunday, July 25-Sunday, August 1. There will be no athletic activities or practices held during that week and no "intentional" contact allowed between coaches and students, on or off school grounds. The use of all school facilities is also prohibited during that week.

This year's high school baseball tournament is set to be held that week and will be the only exception for this year. It will have scheduling adjustments made in future years starting in 2022 to accommodate Family Week.

Tom Keating is the executive director of IHSAA and says it will require changes to sports' spring and summer schedules starting next year. The new calendar and implementation of Family Week were approved by Iowa’s Unified Activity Federation, which is comprised of the IHSAA, Iowa IGHSAU, the Iowa High School Music Association, and the Iowa High School Speech Association.

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