The COVID-19 outbreak across the world has caused the UIL to make another update to the athletics calendar.
The two-week pause the UIL announced last week has now been pushed back much farther. After Governor Greg Abbott closed schools through Saturday, April 4, the UIL followed with guidance that athletic contests are to remain suspended until May 4, at the earliest.
While games are a little more than a month away, the UIL did note they would allow a chance for practices to occur before that date, however, no time was given as they continue to listen to local, state and federal officials. Since the UIL has suspended each week they’ve announced new start dates, but they are committed to trying to complete all sports this year.
“We are working diligently on contingency plans to conduct state championships in each of the activities that have been suspended,” said UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt. “While the immediate future is unclear, we are committed to providing these much-desired activities to all Texas students and will prepare for all possible outcomes, including extended school closures.”
Boling ISD Athletics Director Kevin Urbanek spoke about the impact on dozens of athletes.
“I really hope we get to finish the sports year for all of our athletes but more importantly for our senior athletes,” Urbanek said. “These seniors have put so much work in throughout their junior high and high school years and I just want to see them to be able to finish what they started.”
Abbott along with closing schools, announced gyms will be shut down as well as the state tries to limit groups of people so the virus has a harder time spreading. School facilities have been closed and ISD’s have no real instruction for students who are in athletics because they are focused on core classes during this period of distance learning.
“My advice is to stay safe and make good decisions with all the free time they now have,” Urbanek said. “Stay on top of their schoolwork and they have to find ways to stay in shape.”
For baseball and softball specifically, when they get back in action, two rounds of district play likely won’t happen. In order to finish the district season quickly, they could just go through district one-time, with as many as three games a week to determine who makes the playoffs. Golf, tennis and track could go straight to the district meet.