By Reach for the Wall Staff
In a press release issued today by Governor Larry Hogan, he announced that High School sports teams may begin activities starting October 7th for Fall sports and December 14th for Winter sports. This accelerates the timeline previously published by MPSSAA in their Second Semester Plan.
From the press release:
October 7 Option For Fall Sports.
- All school systems shall, as soon as possible, provide conditioning and training opportunities utilizing the current available options provided by the MPSSAA.
- On October 7, 2020, all local school systems may choose to begin formal fall sport season practices in preparation for a competition season which will begin on October 27. All practices and preparation must be in accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) required practice regulations, and all face covering and public health protocols established by the state and local health departments.
- The state is expanding the seasonal competition timeframes as previously announced for all winter and spring sports within this plan.
- The October 7 option provides for seven weeks of competition for fall sports—including cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, and volleyball:
- First available practice date: October 7, 2020
- First available competition date: October 27, 2020 (Golf may resume competition on October 7, 2020.)
- Last play date: December 12, 2020
- Culminating event/tournament: December 14-19, 2020
- With the October 7 option, winter sports can begin practice on December 14, and spring sports can begin practice on March 15. Additional details will be provided by MPSSAA.
- Local school systems that choose not to exercise the October 7 option for fall sports may utilize the Second Semester Plan option as previously announced.
As with other decisions made by the Governor during the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to move forward with the new timeline is left to the locality (school systems). Thus, Montgomery County Public Schools will likely be bound within the guidelines set forth by the Montgomery County Council and Department of Health to make their determination whether Fall and Winter sports can go forward with the new timelines. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity for students across Maryland to return to the playing fields and recoup some ‘normalcy’ in their day to day.
Update 4:30 pm:
MCPS was swift to release commentary on Hogan’s announcement however, not prominently on their websites.
The full statement can be found here:
“MCPS will work closely with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services to review all aspects of these two options. At this time, MCPS will continue with its plans as outlined in our R.A.I.S.E. Reimagined Framework for virtual athletics in order to ensure the health and safety of students, staff members and stakeholders. The implementation of additional extracurricular and fine arts programs and activities, will also be considered when finalizing the safest plan for MCPS Athletics. MCPS understands the importance of student participation in athletics and extracurricular activities and is committed to returning to the in-person delivery of these programs. More information and updates will be shared in the near future. “