Photo by Gerald Castillo
UIL modifies 2020-21 activity calendar
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) released a modified activities calendar for the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday, setting new dates for practices, games and championships for both San Marcos and other schools in the state.
"Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools," said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. "While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates risk of COVID-19 spread."
The Rattlers football team’s preseason training camp start date has been moved from Aug. 3 to Sept. 7. The 2020 regular season is now scheduled to kick off on Sept. 24 and will run through Dec. 5. The UIL 5A and 6A championship games will be conducted in January 2021, with exact dates to be announced later.
The new schedule shrinks the season down to nine weeks, meaning teams in District 26-6A, as well as other districts with eight schools, will either have to give up their bye week or cancel one game.
San Marcos Volleyball will also start their training camp on Sept. 7 and begin the regular season on Sept. 14. The district certification deadline is set for Nov. 17 and state championship games will be played on Dec. 11-12.
In addition to the modified calendar, the UIL also COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines for gameday operations.
Schools can allow crowds of up to 50% of a building’s capacity. Groups will not be allowed to sit in consecutive rows and schools are encouraged to block off sections of the stands to maintain proper distancing.
All employees, parents, visitors and students 10 years of age or older will be required to wear face coverings where activities are being conducted and when not actively practicing or playing in the contest, with exceptions listed in Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-29. Schools must screen all participants, staff members and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms before allowing entry into an area where an activity is being conducted.
Marching bands, cheerleaders, drill teams, and other groups will be allowed to attend games with school approval, though schools may restrict the number of participants down to just those essential to the performance. These groups will remain separate from the contest participants at all times and discouraged from mixing in with other spectators.
Concession stands will be open. Condiments and flatware can be made available upon request, but will not be available out in the open. Service counters also must be disinfected after each patron departs.
"I appreciate the work and the plan the UIL has put in place," San Marcos athletic director John Walsh said. "This gives our student athletes a chance represent our city through the sports they love to play."
This article has been updated with additional information.