UIL Releases Timeline and Guidelines for Fall Sports
5A and 6A schools such as Lufkin and Nacogdoches will have their Fall sports schedule such as football, volleyball, and cross country pushed back about a month, while 4A and under schools such as Hudson, Huntington, Central Heights, and San Augustine have been given the green light to proceed as scheduled. That announcement coming this morning as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) presented modifications to the 2020-2021 UIL calendar and updated COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines, set to take effect August 1, 2020.
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. 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.
Additionally, the COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year can be found at this link. This includes guidance around face coverings, general operations and protocol for individuals confirmed or exposed to COVID-19, congregate settings (band halls, locker rooms, etc.), practice and rehearsal activities, spectators and media, and concession stands and food service.
These guidelines are in addition to guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and intended to be implemented along with TEA guidance, which applies to UIL academic activities and extracurricular non-UIL activities.
“Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates risk of COVID-19 spread.”
UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications that may become necessary.