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The University Interscholastic League has delayed the start of high school football for Texas’ two largest conferences because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Class 6A and 5A schools were originally slated to begin practices Aug. 3 but will have to instead wait until Sept. 7, per the Dallas Morning News’ Callie Caplan. As a result, their games will begin no earlier than Sept. 24.
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Caplan noted that schools in Class 4A and below can begin practices on time, but they could still be subject to local coronavirus-related restrictions. Dallas County, for example, has suspended all high school athletics until Sept. 7.
Under the current plan, the Class 6A and 5A playoffs would continue into January. They’re traditionally over by Christmas.
UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt issued a statement on the move:
“Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools. 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.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started slowly rolling back the statewide coronavirus-related measures in April. Mirroring the wider trend across the country, Texas began seeing an upward trend in confirmed cases as the summer has unfolded. Officials confirmed 7,404 new cases Monday, bringing its overall total to 332,434.
The state of California is experiencing a similar surge in the pandemic. The California Interscholastic Federation announced Monday it was pushing back the 2020 fall sports season until the spring of 2021.