Across the country high school sports are returning in some way, shape, or form. However, there are many states where those sports are being delayed a week, month, or into a completely different sports season. This article will document the ever changing amendments and plans that are effecting the fall sports season across the nation.
High School Fall Sports Plans (By State)
Colorado has dramatically changed its 2020-21 sports season. They have adopted a four-season calendar (A-D). The fall season (Season A) will now be comprised of cross country, boys golf, softball, and boys tennis and will run from August 3 through October 10. The other 'normal' fall sports such as volleyball, boys soccer, and football will move into a spring season (Season C). Football will begin practice on February 22 with the others to follow on March 1. State championships will take place for these three sports on May 1 and May 8.
Fall sports will be delayed to start the season, but will continue in the fall in Connecticut. Smaller practices with a max of 15 athletes are allowed on August 27; football will start on the 17th. Full practice for all sports will begin on September 11 with contests to start on the 24th. A tournament will be determined at a later date for all sports.
Delaware has decided to move all fall sports into the spring season with no exact dates yet determined. The approximate start time for the fall season will be mid-February following the winter season. Specific dates will be determined at the September Board of Directors meeting.
Fall sports are set to begin as scheduled all throughout Idaho with any alterations being made on a week-to-week basis. Like many other states, the playoff and tournament models will be determined during the season as the situation continues to be fluid.
Illinois has taken on a condensed, four season approach as many of the fall team activities have been moved to their "spring season". Golf, girls tennis, cross country and girls swimming will stay in the fall season and will run from August 10 to October 24. Football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball will be moved into the spring season that will run from February 15 through May 1.
The fall sports season will proceed as planned in Indiana as far as the schedule goes. Practice will begin on August 3, except for girls golf which will start on July 31. Contests will start on August 15.
Like Indiana, fall sports will proceed with the same start date as originally planned with practice beginning August 17 and competition to start on the 24th. As is the case in many other states, the KSHSAA does recommend adjusting schedules to be more geographically close in nature as well as reducing number of games.
Kentucky has set August 24 as the first date of practice for all fall sports with September 7 being the first day for competition. The first week of practice will be limited to 7.5 hours of practice and the schedule will be greatly reduced as well. Soccer, cross country, volleyball, and field hockey will see a reduction in games by one-third and football will play 9 games as opposed to 11.
The fall season has been delayed in the state of Maine with practice beginning on September 8 and competition to follow on the 17th. Phase IV of the MPA Summer Guidelines runs from August 24 - September 7 and its details are being developed. That time will be focused on conditioning for the fall sports.
Both fall and winter seasons have been postponed through the first semester in Maryland, with a hope to continue in 2021.. Currently, fall sports teams can use the MPSSAA waiver regulations to engage in practices during this fall season. The hybrid-season details will become available in the coming weeks.
Fall sports will be postponed a few weeks and will begin pre-season practice on September 14 with games to follow starting October 1 for those sports determined able to play. Season limitations and postseason play will be discussed at a later date.
As part of their phase in plan, lower risk fall sports such as cross country, Upper Peninsula girls tennis, and Lower Peninsula girls golf, boys tennis, and girls swimming will begin practice on August 12 with competition to begin on the 19th. Higher risk sports like boys soccer and volleyball will begin practice on August 12 as well with football to begin on August 17. Decisions on the higher risk sports competition schedule will be made by August 20.
Soccer, girls tennis, cross country, and girls swimming were voted on to take place this fall season in Minnesota, as volleyball and football were both postponed to the spring season. Practice will begin on August 17 with a 20 percent reduction in weeks in the season and a 30 percent reduction in the number of games.
In Missouri, fall sports will begin as scheduled on August 10 with games to follow on the 28th. Classification and district assignments will be delayed as well, taking place on September 18. Schools will have until September 11 to inform the MSHSAA if they'll have sports for those postseason tournaments.
Currently, fall sports will begin as planned across the state of Montana with practice on August 14 and matches to follow on the 27th. Multi-team scrimmages and tournaments will be struck from the schedule.
The fall sports season has been moved to a time between the winter and spring seasons. Practice will begin for most sports on February 20 with football starting a week earlier on the 13th. The first date for competition is set for March 5 with the last possible date for games April 10.
New Hampshire has decided to delay the start of the fall season, practice beginning for all sports on September 8. Low risk sports such as bass fishing and golf can start competition on September 10. Moderate risk sports; cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball can start contests on September 18. High risk sports such as football and spirit can start contests on September 25.
Fall sports season is being pushed back a full month in New Jersey with practice now beginning on September 14. Competition will begin on September 28 for girls tennis and October 1 for all other sports, minus football. Football competition will begin on October 2. A limited post season may be available in November.
New Mexico has an overhaul of an amendment to their 2020-21 activities season. Fall sports such as cross country, golf, and volleyball will begin October 5th with cross country and volleyball's state championships in December. Fall season golf will have their state finals at same time as spring season golf in mid-to-late June. Both soccer and football have been moved to February starts with soccer starting on the 15th and football on the 22nd. Both seasons will run through the end of April/early May.
Fall sports have been delayed a month in New York as practice is set to begin on September 21. Other schedule changes include the cancellation of regional and state tournaments for all fall sports for the upcoming year.
With Phase 2 of the reopening plan in North Carolina being extended until September 11, the fall sports season may not begin as early as once thought. With the extension, there is still no set date or plan for when fall sports will return.
The fall sport season is moving ahead as planned in North Dakota as practice will begin on August 3 except for football which will begin on the 10th. Postseason play is the same as well, with changes possible if needed.
Like North Dakota, fall sports are attempting to proceed as normal in Ohio. Both contact and non-contact sports will be permitted to move forward, but they could look quite different. For all sports, practice can begin on August 1. Some changes include: limited spectators, site inspectors, sports can be delayed to the spring, and student won't need to be tested to participate in sports.
Recently, Oregon voted to move its fall season into the spring, creating a condensed four-season activities calendar. 'Season 1' runs from September through December and will act as an extended summer of sorts, with no limitations on coach contact days. Practice will begin for soccer, volleyball, and cross country on February 22 with games to follow on March 8. Football will begin practice on the same date but games will follow on the March 15. The new season will run through late April/early May.
Currently Pennsylvania does not have a set in stone plan for the upcoming fall season as Governor Wolf strongly recommended no sports or activities until January 1, 2021. The PIAA is putting together a plan in hopes of moving forward with their fall season. From now until August 21, schools and teams will be able to hold voluntary workouts until a decision is made final.
Rhode Island has delayed the start of the fall sports season from August 17 to September 14 in order to help schools adjust to being back in school first and foremost. With that being said, a more final decision will be made about the fall sports season and parameters around it come August 17.
Fall sports are moving ahead in South Dakota with different start dates. Girls tennis and soccer will begin practice on August 3. Football will start on the 6th with volleyball, golf, and cross country to follow between the August 10-13. As it stands, a postseason will be held for all sports.
Tennessee is moving forwards as planned with their fall sports season. Practice will begin July 27 for all sports with August 17 set as the first day for contests. Football will have its first games played on August 21.
Vermont's fall sports season is different than most as of right now. Low-contact sports such as cross country, golf, and bass fishing are allowed to go ahead with their seasons and contests. Soccer and field hockey can resume as well with no tournaments or multi-school events to be held. Volleyball will only be allowed if all participants are wearing face coverings. Currently, football is not allowed to be played. Practices and intra-squad scrimmages are permissible. Also, games are only allowed with teams that are in counties that are eligible for quarantine-free travel.
The DCSAA has decided to postpone all fall and winter activities to January 2021. The proposed schedule is much more condensed than the normal season would be. The new 'fall season' would begin practice on February 1 with competition starting on the 22nd. The season won run from February 22 to April 16.
West Virginia has postponed its fall season by a week with practice to begin on August 17 for all sports. Competition can begin on September 3 for football and the 2nd for all other sports.
Like many other states, the fall sports season has been postponed throughout Wisconsin. Girls golf, girls tennis, girls swim, and cross country will be able to start practice on August 17. Soccer, volleyball, and football have September 7 as the earliest date for practice. End of season state tournaments have yet to be determined on whether they'll be permitted or not. Also, the WIAA has left the door open for conferences that want to delay to the spring season, an opportunity to schedule that.