The Interschool College League made a monumental and rather shocking announcement on Tuesday, delaying the start of all fall activities for the state’s two biggest classifications by five weeks, including Texas high school football. The announcement does not change the timing of the smaller classifications.
For Class 6A and Class 5A, UIL has postponed the start of training, which should start from August 3 to September 7. The first week of Texas high school football games will now be September 24-26, four weeks later than the original August. 27-29 start date.
This move has major impacts on all extracurricular activities across the state of Texas, including football. The playoffs for the two biggest standings, which were originally scheduled to start on November 12, will now begin on Thursday, December 3. UIL State Championship games were scheduled for December 16-19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington; they are now moving to a date to be determined in January.
Classes 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A, which will continue as planned, will remain intact for now – practices will begin August 3, games begin August 27-29, playoffs begin November 12, and the State Championships are still scheduled for mid-end. December.
This is a startling announcement from UIL, which generally insists on treating all classifications equally.
Another wildcard in this scenario is that UIL has to navigate local entities that impose tighter restrictions on things. For example: Hidalgo County (in the Rio Grande Valley) and Houston ISD have requested that in-person learning can not start until much later than the start of Labor Day that UIL has implemented. In these two areas, extracurricular activities (sports included) cannot begin before the start of in-person learning. Will these schools see an even shorter season (or maybe no season), or will school districts look to relax these rules around practice during virtual learning sessions?
Looking at the athletics calendar as a whole, this UIL decision to postpone the start of the season may be the last available measure to ensure that a football season is played this school year. There might not be another chance to delay the season further; but due to the size of our state and varying conditions by location, if the season progresses with its new start scheduled for September 7, there is a chance that some school districts will not be able to form football teams. this year if the local health situation does not show improvement.
The situation remains fluid and TexasFootball.com will continue to follow the story.