After the University Interscholastic League suspended all contests for a two-week period due to the coronavirus pandemic late last week, the state’s governing body of high school competition provided an update on its status Monday by suspending all activities.
The UIL sent an email to athletic directors and coaches outlining the procedures for the near future, which includes canceling practices and workouts:
“Thank you for your patience as we work to navigate this ever-changing and unprecedented situation. As the situation stands, all UIL contests are suspended through March 29 due to COVID-19. As new information is released, we will continue to make informed decisions and provide amended plans as we have them.
We have received several questions concerning practices and spring football. At this time all practices and workouts conducted outside the school day, as well as spring football, are postponed until March 29. During this time, a school shall not conduct practices or use school facilities or equipment. This means that no practices or workouts outside the school day can be conducted during the time period of March 16 through March 29. School practices include open gyms, open facilities, and open weight rooms. All athletic facilities should remain closed until further notice for both non-school and school activities.
In the case that spring football is canceled altogether, football workouts would resume on August 3rd and teams would be able to add an additional scrimmage.”
When the UIL made its initial announcement last week, it suspended all interscholastic competition starting from March 16 to March 29. However, rehearsals and practices could be held at the discretion of the local school district, particularly if that school district remained opened.
“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in the initial announcement. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”
Across the state the school districts which were not on spring break this week started closing through at least this Friday but did not have a uniform date to reopen. One of Sherman’s District 10-5A opponents, Princeton, announced on Monday that it was suspending all activities and facility use until May 4.
Over the weekend, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention put forth a recommendation that gatherings of more than 50 people be prohibited for the next eight weeks and then on Monday in a White House press conference, it was recommended that gatherings of more than 10 people be prohibited.
Based on revised schedules for the UIL through the rest of the academic year, that eight-week period would cover up to: the first two rounds of softball playoffs, the first round of baseball playoffs, the rest of soccer season, the entire track season, the entire boys golf season, up to three days before the state girls golf tournament and a week before the state tennis tournament.
The UIL said that because this is a fluid situation which seemingly changes by the hour, it will continue to follow the direction of state and local officials to monitor this situation and will provide additional announcements as needed. Further updates can be found on the UIL website and its social media accounts.