At the ready

The Needville High School football team pictured before a game against El Campo last year. 

There are still plenty of questions at remain surrounding 2020-21 with cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus continuing to mound in Texas.

The uncertainty has led to at least one school district in Fort Bend County, Fort Bend ISD, to put a halt to extracurricular activities at least until in-person instruction begins.

On the other side of the coin, Needville ISD announced on Thursday its plan for returning to class in the fall.

The plan included a specific part related to extracurricular actives.

The section reads:

  • Athletics and Extracurricular Activities will be conducted in alignment with UIL guidelines.
  • Non-UIL activities will follow the same COVID-19 related guidelines as UIL activities.
  • Hand Washing or Hand Sanitation stations will be available for all activities.
  • The use of face coverings should be implemented as feasible.

At the moment, the UIL has not announced additional guidelines for the upcoming year.

For now, the UIL has guidelines in place for summer strength and conditioning. The most recent update to the framework outlined to include the requirement of face-covering to be worn while on campus when not actively exercising.

The other guidelines included attendance at workouts must be optional, while attendance records are allowed, schools must develop mitigation plans as described above to provide students access to locker rooms and shower facilities, hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations readily available in the workout area, all surfaces in workout areas should be thoroughly disinfected, no shared water or food and schools should plan for entry and exit procedures that reduce the number of students and parents congregating outside.

The UIL will be governing over a handful of sports that traditionally start season preparation in August including football, volleyball, team tennis and cross country.

The first day of conditioning for football is set for Aug. 3 for all classifications, while volleyball’s season is open on Aug. 10.

The UIL has already had to cancel multiple spring sports state championships and any push back of the schedule for football would likely affect spring championships for the second year in a row.

At the moment, the UIL has made no indication of making such a move. Moreover, the UIL has been steadfast in entering the 2020-21 school year on schedule.

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