State-by-State Important Dates for 2021 high school football season

2021 high school football
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At this time last year, we were spending all of our time trying to keep everyone up-to-date on how the coronavirus pandemic was affecting start dates for the 2020 high school football season. This year, we’re back to normal.

To celebrate the 2021 high school football season, we’ve put together a comprehensive state-by-state list of when fall camps open. In addition, our list below also lets you know when the regular season starts in each state, followed by the beginning of the playoffs and state championship dates.

If you see any errors or omissions, please feel free to email us.

Alabama

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 19

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: December 1-3 at Protective Life Stadium in Birmingham

Alaska

1st official practice: July 28

Regular season begins: August 13

Playoffs begin: October 9

State Championships: Division II & III on October 16; Division I on October 22 in Anchorage

Arizona

1st official practice: 1A on July 26; 3A-2A on August 2; 6A-4A on August 9

Regular season begins: 1A on August 18; 3A-2A on August 25; 6A-4A on September 1

Playoffs begin: 1A on October 22; 3A-2A on November 5; 6A-4A on November 19; Open Division November 26

State Championships: 1A on November 6; 3A-2A on December 4; Open Division, 5A, 4A on December 10-11

Arkansas

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: November 12

State Championships: 7A, 6A on December 4; 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A on December 10-11

California

1st official practice: 11-man & 8-Man August 2, if they play Week 0 games; or August 9 for teams with first game during Week 1

Regular season begins: 11-man Week 0 is August 20; 11-man Week 1 is August 27; 8-man Week 0 is August 27; 8-man Week 1 is September 3

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: 11-man on December 10-11; 8-man on November 26-27

Colorado

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: 5A, 4A, 2A, 1A, 8-man, 6-man on November 6; 3A on November 13

State Championships: 2A, 1A, 8-man, 6-man on November 27; the 5A, 4A, 3A will be played on December 4 at Empower Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos

Connecticut

1st official practice: OTAs August 12-14; 1st contact August 21

Regular season begins: September 9

Playoffs begin: November 30

State Championships: December 11

Delaware

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 10

Playoffs begin: November 20

State Championships: December 3-4

Florida

1st official practice: August 24

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: November 6

State Championships: December 16-19 at Florida State’s Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee

Georgia

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: November 12-13

State Championships: December 9-11 at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta

Hawaii

1st official practice: July 19

Regular season begins: August 6

Playoffs begin: November 19

State Championships: November 26-27 at site to be determined

*Schedule needs to be approved by Department of Education and Department of Health

Idaho

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 27

Playoffs begin: October 29

State Championships: November 19-20

Illinois

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 27

Playoffs begin: October 29-30

State Championships: November 26-27 at Northern Illinois in Dekalb

Indiana

1st official practice: August 5

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A on October 22; 6A on October 29

State Championships: November 26-27 at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts

Iowa

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: October 22

State Championships: November 18-19

Kansas

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: October 29

State Championships: November 27

Kentucky

1st official practice: July 10

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: December 3-5 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington

Louisiana

1st official practice: August 2 for teams didn’t hold spring practice; August 9 for teams that held spring ball

Regular season begins: September 2-4

Playoffs begin: November 11-13

State Championships: December 11-13 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints

Maine

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: August 27

Playoffs begin: 8-man October 22-23; Class B & C October 29-30; Class A and D November 5-6

State Championships: 8-man November 12-13; Class A, B, C, D on November 19-20

Maryland

1st official practice: August 11

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: December 2-4

Massachusetts

1st official practice: August 20

Regular season begins: September 10-11

Playoffs begin: November 5-6

State Championships: December 3-4 at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots

Michigan

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: October 29

State Championships: November 26-27 at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions

Minnesota

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 2

Playoffs begin: November 11

State Championships: November 26-27 at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings

Mississippi

1st official practice: July 26 for Midsouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS); August 9 for Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA)

Regular season begins: August 20 for MAIS ;August 27 for MHSAA

Playoffs begin: Class 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A for MAIS on October 29; MAIS Class 6A on November 5; Class 4A, 3A, 2A for MHSAA on November 5; Class 6A, 5A, 1A for MHSAA on November 12

State Championships: November 18-20 for MAIS ; December 3-4 MHSAA

Missouri

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 27

Playoffs begin: October 29-30

State Championships: Class 6 and 8-Man on November 27; Classes 1-5 on December 3-4

Montana

1st official practice: August 13

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: October 29-30

State Championships: November 22-23

Nebraska

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: D1 and D2 on October 21; all other classifications on October 29

State Championships: November 22-23 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln

Nevada

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 19

Playoffs begin: October 28-30

State Championships: November 19-20

New Hampshire

1st official practice: August 13

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: October 29-30

State Championships: November 12-13

New Jersey

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 27

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: Public Regional Championships on November 26-27; Non-Public Finals on December 4-5.

**MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, is the host site for several championship games. Those games are determined in November.

New Mexico

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: 6-man on October 22-23; 8-man on October 29-30; 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A on November 5-6

State Championships: 6-man on November 6; 8-man on November 13; 2A on November 20; 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A on November 27

New York

1st official practice: August 16 for NY State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) & NYC Catholic Football League; August 23 for Long Island schools

Regular season begins: September 3 for NYSPHSAA, Long Island Schools & NYC Catholic Football League

Playoffs begin: November 5-6 for Long Island schools; November 6 for NYC Catholic Football League

State Championships: November 20 for NYC Catholic League; November 26-28 for NYSPHSAA

North Carolina

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: December 11

North Dakota

1st official practice: Class B on August 5; Class A on August 9

Regular season begins: Class B on August 20; Class A on August 23

Playoffs begin: 9-man on October 16; 11-man on October 29

State Championships: November 12

Ohio

1st official practice: August 1

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: October 29-30

State Championships: December 2-5 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton

Oklahoma

1st official practice: August 9

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: November 12

State Championships: 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, C on December 3-4; 2A, A, B on December 10-11

Oregon

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 2

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A on November 27, 6A on December 4

Pennsylvania

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 3, but teams are allowed to open on August 27

Playoffs begin: November 12

State Championships: December 9-11 at HersheyPark Stadium in Hershey

Rhode Island

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: December 3

State Championships: December 10-11

South Carolina

1st official practice: July 30

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: November 12-13

State Championships: December 2-4

South Dakota

1st official practice: August 5

Regular season begins: 11B and 9-man on August 20; all other classifications on August 27

Playoffs begin: 9-man on October 21; 11-man on October 28

State Championships: November 11-13 at DakotaDome in Vermillion

Tennessee

1st official practice: July 26

Regular season begins: August 20

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: December 2-4 at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Texas

1st official practice: University Interscholatic League (UIL) – August 2 for 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, plus 6A and 5A schools with no spring ball; August 9 for 6A and 5A schools that participated in spring ball

Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) – August 2

Regular season begins: August 26 for UIL and TAPPS

Playoffs begin: November 11-13 for UIL and TAPPS

State Championships: TAPPS on December 2-4; December 15-18 for UIL at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys

Utah

1st official practice: July 26

Regular season begins: August 19

Playoffs begin: October 22-23

State Championships: 4A on November 12; 3A, 2A, 1A on November 13; 6A, 5A on November 19

Vermont

1st official practice: August 16

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: October 29-30

State Championships: November 12-13

Virginia

1st official practice: July 30

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: November 12

State Championships: December 12

Washington

1st official practice: August 18

Regular season begins: September 3

Playoffs begin: November 5

State Championships: December 3-4

Washington, D.C.

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 27

Playoffs begin: DCIAA on November 10

State Championships: DCIAA Championship on November 17; Gravy Bowl on November 20; Turkey Bowl on November 25

West Virginia

1st official practice: August 2

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: November 12-13

State Championships: December 3-4

Wisconsin

1st official practice: 11-man on August 3; 8-man on August 10

Regular season begins: 11-man on August 19; 8-man on August 26

Playoffs begin: October 22

State Championships: 11-man on November 18-19; 8-man on November 13

Wyoming

1st official practice: 4A on August 9; 3A, 2A, 1A on August 16

Regular season begins: August 26

Playoffs begin: October 29

State Championships: November 12-13 at University of Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium in Laramie

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.