While professional and collegiate football may still be up in the air, the UIL and Governor Abbott have made it clear that fall sports are here to stay- assuming there isn’t a serious high school outbreak. The press release came out directly from the UIL at the end of July. The governing body concluded that seasons would be played traditionally in the fall, but pushed back almost a month. This decision was made with the health and safety of athletes and coaches in mind. The delay in the season provides enough time for schools to accumulate the proper resources they need to stay safe, as well as providing the possibility that the COVID-19 virus’ effect could be minimal in late September.
Conferences 1A-4A will start practices as early as August 3rd, and games as late as August 27th for football. 5A-6A conferences, on the other hand, are much larger and therefore will require much more attention to safety. Tennis and Cross Country are the first back to competition with meets starting on September 7th. Volleyball and Football are the latest in the back-to-play protocol with games September 14th and September 24th, respectively.
Modified UIL Activities Calendar & COVID-19 Guidelines for 2020-2021 School Year— Texas UIL (@uiltexas) July 21, 2020
Press Release ⬇️https://t.co/sv3boFOD43
Full COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Guidelines ⬇️https://t.co/o3qFFIZxrF
More COVID-19 Information ⬇️https://t.co/lE7fRyRbWY pic.twitter.com/vuWybpYVQ8
So, the kids get to play, awesome. Now what about fans? As of right now there are two major regulations for spectators. Stadium capacity will be cut in half at each venue. The smart idea would be for teams to only sell home tickets, that way they can use both sides of the stadium and space fan groups out. That leads me to the UIL’s next regulation, spacing. Fans are supposed to spread out, and they need to be seated at least 10 feet away from students operating wind instruments.