The Big Eight Conference will play a full schedule of games on Thursday, Aug. 31, instead of Friday, Sept. 1.

The shift of games from the normal Friday slot is in deference to the observance of Eid al-Adha, which begins at sundown on Friday, Sept. 1, said Madison Memorial athletic director Jeremy Schlitz, also the Madison school district athletic director.

Many Muslims in the United States celebrate Eid al-Adha, known as the Feast of the Sacrifice. 

The Thursday Big Eight games were not a response to Big Ten Conference scheduling, Schlitz said, adding that the Big Eight doesn't plan to alter its game schedule based on the University of Wisconsin's football schedule.

UW plays a home game against Utah State at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1. The shift of Big Eight games to Thursday to observe Eid al-Adha does avoid a conflict with that UW game. 

The games for the third week of the league season: Janesville Craig at Sun Prairie; Beloit Memorial vs. Madison La Follette at Lussier Stadium; Verona vs. Madison Memorial at Mansfield Stadium; Madison West at Middleton; and Madison East vs. Janesville Parker at Monterey Stadium in Janesville.

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Some other area schools are scheduled to play games that Thursday, including Wisconsin Dells at Belleville and Lake Mills at Mauston. Numerous other area games are scheduled, as usual, for Friday that week, which, of course, is the start of the Labor Day weekend.

Football equipment can be handed out and the first practices are permitted Aug. 1. The first games will be Aug. 17-19.