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UIL releases guidelines for fall athletics; delays start for largest schools

High School Football

A pylon displays a sign for the UIL state football championships in the end zone in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Texas University Interscholastic League released their guidelines for fall athletics and music on Tuesday.

While the schedule for 1A through 4A schools will start as normal, those in 5A and 6A districts won’t be able to even practice until September.

These changes will go into effect August 1.

The UIL released a statement saying in part:

The modifications to the 2020-2021 calendar differ by activity and conference and can be found on the UIL website and in the chart below. These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state. This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule. Acknowledging the situation is not always clear-cut and that COVID-19 affects every community differently, the plan also allows for local flexibility and encourages districts to plan for possible interruptions in order to complete district seasons.

The UIL allowed athletic programs to resume summer strength and conditioning workouts in June as long as health protocols were in place. Restrictions were eased last week, allowing students to participate in one-on-one drills and locker room access.

At the beginning of the month, the UIL announced they would require face masks at summer workouts.

This also includes school employees, parents, and visitors over the age of ten. There are exceptions to the policy, which are listed below:

  • Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • While a person is consuming food or drink;
  • While the person is in a pool, lake, or similar body of water.
  • When a congregating group of persons maintains at least 6 feet of social distancing; or
  • Any other reason or circumstance indicated under Executive Order GA-29.

PRIVATE SCHOOL PLAN

Just a few days ago, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), announced their plans to return to play in the fall, pushing the start of many sports back by a month.

Here in East Texas, that decision affects Grace Community School, All Saints, Bishop Gorman, and The Brook Hill School in Bullard.

In a release, TAPPS says players will be allowed to return to practice on Sept. 8. Volleyball and individual sports can start play on Sept. 21. Football and fall soccer is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 28.

OTHER UIL & TAPPS STORIES

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