The foundation for when and how the fall high school sports season might commence and play out were revealed during a meeting of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Board of Directors on Tuesday.
The board unanimously approved three recommendations presented by the COVID-19 Task Force following a 30-minute presentation. They were:
• Compliance with the forthcoming joint guidelines published by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) regarding sports in the fall for youth and K-12.
• Adopt a start date of Sept. 14 — for practice — for fall sports that are permitted under the forthcoming guidelines
• That the Board of Directors meet three business days after the release of the forthcoming guidelines to discuss the fall season and consider additional recommendations by the task force.
Cross-country, field hockey, boys’ golf, soccer, and girls’ volleyball all would have started practicing Aug. 24 and could have held their first contest Sept. 6 with the exception of golf, which could have begun playing matches Aug. 31 as there’s less need for practice due to the conditioning requirements of the sport.
Football would have started Aug. 21 with the caveat that every player had 15 days of practice — the key word being days and not sessions — prior to the first game, which couldn’t have been held any earlier than Sept. 8.
States across the country have taken different approaches to the resumption of high school sports, some pushing back the start of the season by a few weeks and others by many months with others remaining on schedule.
California announced Monday it would postpone athletics until December or January while the same day Florida opted to maintain its schedule, meaning football practices can start next Monday.
Per the Washington Post, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia have delayed the start of the fall season. In addition, New Mexico, Virginia and D.C. have already canceled football.
As for New England, according to MaxPreps, Connecticut remains on schedule with football beginning Aug. 17, and all other sports Aug. 27; Maine began holding conditioning drills July 6, although many schools are waiting until August; and Rhode Island is open to fall sports returning while there is no news out of New Hampshire and Vermont.
—Return to Telegram.com for more on this story. Contact Rich Garven at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @RichGarvenTG.
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