(The Center Square) – The start of football and other fall sports at Texas’ largest high schools is being pushed back by more than a month.
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) on Tuesday said that schools in Classes 5A and 6A cannot begin fall activities, including practices or games, until Sept. 7. Practices were slated to begin Aug. 3.
The first football games for larger schools, generally located in metropolitan areas such as Dallas and Houston, can be played Sept. 24. Volleyball team at the larger schools can begin playing matches Sept. 14, while tennis and cross country can begin competing Sept. 7.
The state’s smaller schools, Classes 1A-4A, can begin on time, with practices beginning Aug. 3 for football and volleyball and the first football games scheduled for Aug. 27.
Football playoffs for the larger schools, scheduled to start on Nov. 12, will be pushed back to Dec. 3. That means the state championship games in Classes 5A and 6A will be moved to January.
“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,” UIL said in announcing the changes. “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.”