The University Interscholastic League updated its summer strength and conditioning guidelines on Wednesday to require face masks for participating athletes over the age of 10 years old.
The UIL previously stated that masks were voluntary and the new requirement falls in line with Gov. Greg Abbott’s order on July 2 that ordered Texans to wear face masks in public and limit gatherings of people to no more than 10.
The students along with staff and visitors must wear face coverings upon entry of and exit of an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively practicing.
The UIL is allowing exceptions for medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering, when consuming food or drink, and in a group can maintain social distancing.
The additional changes also include athletes will be allowed access to locker rooms and shower facilities after July 13.
Students should still report to workouts in proper gear and immediately return home to shower at end of the workout.
The UIL recommended a pause in summer workouts on July 1 for two weeks from July 3 through July 12 with “the July 4 holiday weekend and the potential for increased social interactions that could spread COVID-19.”
Additionally, schools will be allowed to engage in drills that involve one or more students on offense against one or more students on defense after the recommended restart date.
The change will allow competitive preparation for the 2020-21 school year, in which the UIL has remained steadfast in the goal of starting on time.
Official practice starts for volleyball and football begin in early August.