ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — Fall sports practices at Maryland public high schools can begin October 7, Gov. Larry Hogan and Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced Thursday.
Golf competitions can begin on October 7, with other fall sports starting competitions October 27. Face coverings and social distancing guidelines must be enforced.
The October 7 date gives seven weeks of competition for fall sports- including cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer and volleyball.
The last date of play will be December 12, with the end of season competitions set to occur December 14-19, 2020.
“The steps taken today are directly related to the needs of our students to be active and engaged with our physical, social and emotional wellbeing,” Dr. Salmon said.
The governor emphasized that local jurisdictions and school boards can make their own decisions on sports resuming.
“Getting our kids back on the playing field and allowing youth sports to resume this fall is critical for the social and mental well-being of our students,” said Governor Hogan. “Now that all 24 jurisdictions have submitted plans to resume in-person instruction, allowing fall sports to begin next month marks another important step on our road to recovery.”
When asked about specific safety precautions, Dr. Salmon directed people to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s website.
“Obviously we have taken this pandemic incredibly seriously, I have taken some of the earliest and most aggressive actions in America, as a result our health metrics could not possibly be any better,” he said, citing “record low” positivity.
The state will also expand competition timeframes for all winter and spring sports.
Winter sports will be able to begin practice on December 14, and spring sports can begin practice on January 4.
Local school systems that choose not to exercise the October 7 option for fall sports may utilize the Second Semester Plan option.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.