Texas moves back high school football by a month in 6A and 5A with 4A-1A starting on-time

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The much anticipated news on high school football in Texas is here. The University Interscholastic League, the state’s largest governing body, has adjusted the 2020 high school football schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Classes 6A and 5A in Texas will start a month later, according to a news release (below) from the UIL, but all other classifications will begin workouts as scheduled.

The UIL news release states, “This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule.”

Read: TAPPS pushes back high school football season

Fall practice for the 6A and 5A schools that are mainly in metro areas, will start September 7, while Classes 1A through 4A will start as scheduled on August 3.

The first games for 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A will be August 27 through the 29, while the 6A and 5A first games will be September 24-26.

The change means that the 6A and 5A state championship games will be played sometime in January 2021. The other four classifications will hold their championships December 16-19.

Read: Which States have adjusted their 2020 high school football schedules

Texas is the 16th state to make an adjustment to its planned 2020 high school football schedule.

Official UIL New Release

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) is presenting modifications to the 2020-2021 UIL calendar and updated COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines, set to take effect August 1, 2020.

The modifications to the 2020-2021 calendar differ by activity and conference and can be found on the UIL website and in the chart below. These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state. This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule. Acknowledging the situation is not always clear-cut and that COVID-19 affects every community differently, the plan also allows for local flexibility and encourages districts to plan for possible interruptions in order to complete district seasons.

Additionally, the COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year can be found at this link. This includes guidance around face coverings, general operations and protocol for individuals confirmed or exposed to COVID-19, congregate settings (band halls, locker rooms, etc.), practice and rehearsal activities, spectators and media, and concession stands and food service.

These guidelines are in addition to guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and intended to be implemented along with TEA guidance, which applies to UIL academic activities and extracurricular non-UIL activities.

With the understanding that not all schools will be able to start at the same time, this plan allows for schools to make playing decisions at the local level, and the UIL will work directly with schools that have scheduling issues not addressed in this plan to allow them flexibility to complete as many contests as possible.

“Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates risk of COVID-19 spread.”

UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications that may become necessary.

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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.