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UIL moves back start dates for 6A/5A volleyball, football to September

According to the UIL, the first day of practice for 6A/5A volleyball and football will be pushed back to September 7.

AUSTIN, Texas — 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.

According to the UIL, the first day of practice for 6A/5A volleyball and football will be pushed back to September 7.

See the schedule below for the remainder of the year for 6A/5A volleyball and football teams:

6A/5A Volleyball

  • First Day for Games - September 14, 2020
  • District Certification Deadline - November 7, 2020
  • State Championships - December 11-12, 2020

6A/5A Football

  • First Day for Games - September 24, 2020
  • District Certification Deadline - November 17, 2020
  • First Round of Playoffs - December 10-12, 2020
  • State Championships - January 2021 (TBD)

The UIL's move will affect the following East Texas school districts:

6A District 10

  • Dallas Skyline 
  • Mesquite 
  • Mesquite Horn 
  • North Mesquite 
  • Rockwall 
  • Rockwall Heath 
  • Tyler ISD 6A School 

5A District 7 - DI

  • Highland Park
  • Longview
  • McKinney North
  • Sherman
  • Tyler ISD 5A School 
  • West Mesquite
  • Wylie East

5A District 8 - DI

  • Cleveland 
  • College Station 
  • Conroe Caney Creek 
  • Lufkin 
  • Magnolia 
  • Magnolia West 
  • New Caney 
  • New Caney Porter 
  • Waller

5A District 8 - DII

  • Corsicana 
  • Crandall 
  • Ennis 
  • Forney 
  • Greenville 
  • North Forney 
  • Royse City 
  • Sulphur Springs

5A District 9 - DII

  • Hallsville 
  • Jacksonville 
  • Pine Tree 
  • Marshall 
  • Mount Pleasant 
  • Nacogdoches 
  • Texas High
  • Whitehouse

For Class 4A/3A/2A/1A schools:

  • First Day of Practice - August 3
  • First Day for Games - August 27, 2020
  • First Round of Playoffs - November 12-14, 2020
  • State Championships - December 16-19, 2020

"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," the UIL said in a statement. "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.

This is a developing story and CBS19 will update this article as more information becomes available.