UIL Modifies Plans (Again) As School Closures Continue

As expected, the University Interscholastic League is extending its timeline for completing activities this school year after Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that schools would remain shuttered through May 4, at least.

“All in-person practices, rehearsals and workouts remain suspended until further notice and remote instruction remains in place,” the organization said in a statement Friday. “UIL remains committed to providing a reasonable acclimatization period for rehearsals and practices to occur prior to resuming contests and games. All decisions remain flexible and will be consistent with the advice of local, state and federal officials.”

The organization also said that remote learning and coaching of UIL activities is allowed, but that schools should limit it to eight hours a week per activity, and athletic activities that are in post-season should limit remote coaching to a maximum of 60 minutes a day Monday through Friday.

“We are still committed to providing a reasonable acclimatization period for rehearsals and practices to occur, consistent with guidance from local, state, and federal officials, prior to students returning to competition,” UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison wrote to superintendents Friday.  “This acclimatization period may include the opportunity to compete in tournaments, meets and invitational competitions.

“We will provide more guidance and specificity on this in the coming weeks to allow time for you to plan and prepare.”

“We are hopeful, as you all are, that we can get back to completing each respective sport season and will provide specific guidance and information on how that will look upon return,” UIL director of athletics Suzane Elza wrote in a letter to athletic directors and coaches. “As a reminder, due to reduced calendar dates, there will be modifications in qualifying structures and timelines for district and post-season events. ”

All of this, the UIL said, is contingent on schools reopening on May 4.


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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