The University Scholastic League made its highly anticipated decision on a plan for the upcoming 2020 fall sports schedule.
The current plan allows for Class 4A through 1A schools in more rural areas to begin on time with their seasons, while Class 6A-5A schools in higher populated metro areas will have their seasons pushed back at least three weeks.
This also means the Class 6A-5A UIL state championship football games wouldn’t be played until January, 2021.
These new guidelines are furthering the guidance of the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Both the TEA and UIL work alongside the CDC to continue monitoring the opening of every season. As well as a change in schedule for the 2020 fall season, the UIL has also released guidelines for spectators and audience members, as well as media personnel.
“Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in a statewide press release. “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.”
To start the season, schools may allow spectators while following social distancing measures at 50 percent capacity. Spectators are required to wear face coverings at all time before, during, and after the events.
Student groups such as marching band, cheerleaders, drill teams, and other approved groups by the school may also attend and perform during the events they are not directly involved in.
However, they are asked to remain away from other fans and event participants.
This decision comes as a delight to many players and coaches across the state, that were fearful of losing their seasons as other states have.
For now, fall sports for Class 4A down are set to take off starting with volleyball and football practices starting August 3rd.
Below is a look at what the UIL released Tuesday.