MPA delays the start of the fall sports season

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 5:05 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Principal’s Association announcing this afternoon it is postponing the start of the fall sports season.

First day of practices is pushed back to September 8th. The first countable games are pushed back until September 18th at 3 PM. They recommend schools develop regional schedules to limit travel. If COVID-19 appears at a school, opponents are allowed to adjust their schedules. Each sport committee will update rules. They are working on specific guideline updates for return to play phases as well.

Full memo from the MPA: We hope this communication finds you well and we understand how busy everyone is in developing your Return to School Plan for the upcoming school year. The MPA’s Interscholastic Management Committee met this morning to act on recommendations from the MPA’s Sports Medicine Committee regarding our hopes to have a falls sports season. This is a bulleted list of decisions made today to hopefully support schools in their return to school and sports.

At the July 21, 2020 Interscholastic Management Committee meeting with the hopes of being able to offer all fall activities, the committee voted to delay the start of the fall sports season until Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Schools in Aroostook County may adjust the opening day based on the harvest break but should not begin pre-season workouts prior to August 17, 2020. This move will allow districts to work on their Return to School Plan without the worry of starting fall sports. Phase III of the MPA Summer Guidelines for all sports will now be in effect from August 3 – August 23, 2020. Details are currently being developed. Phase IV of the MPA Summer Guidelines, for fall teams only, will run from August 24 – September 7, 2020. Details are also currently being developed and will be focused on conditioning of fall athletes. Schools and leagues are encouraged to develop regional schedules whenever possible. The fall sports committees will determine the maximum number of countable games for the shortened fall season. The fall pre-season following Phase IV will be reduced from three weeks to two weeks with the first countable contest no earlier than 3:00 pm on Friday, September 18, 2020. For the 2020-2021 school year the Completion of Season Rule that requires a team that does not complete their season to be ineligible for varsity play for two seasons has been waived. Knowing that some schools may be affected by the Covid-19 Virus, schools will be allowed to adjust their schedules during the season. Each fall sport committee will be developing rules modifications for their individual sports in conjunction with the NFHS recommendations. With the hope that we will have a fall sports season, each fall sport committee will be determining post-season play for that activity.

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