Governor Baker about the athletic guidelines for the school district’s fall sports season. ME Regional High School Athletic Director Jordan Edgett took up answering some frequently asked questions:
When will we know about fall sports?
Governor Baker originally said he would make an announcement at the beginning of August. Since then, the first day of both school and sports have been pushed back to mid-September. He has not made it known when he would make the guidelines public, but the announcement could come any day.
The MIAA Board of Directors will be meeting three days after Governor Baker's announcement. If the state allows a fall season to be played, the MIAA will send information from the BOD meeting (guidelines, restrictions, structure, etc.) to athletic directors. I will be sure to send out updates as soon as the information comes to me. Registration will open shortly after the MIAA's meeting.
If we are remote, does that automatically rule out sports?
I believe this is a topic that the MIAA and the state are discussing. A few weeks ago, DESE comissioner Jeff Riley made a comment to superintendents that this may be the case. A few days later, he pulled his statement back. The MIAA then made a statement saying that they do not have any current policies prohibiting schools from participating in sports if they conduct remote classes. While it is not definite, I do not believe that sports will be automatically cancelled if classes are conducted remotely.
Is it possible that the state and MIAA will allow some sports while prohibiting others?
Yes, it is possible that they allow lower risk sports to be played while not allowing the higher risk sports. Risk levels are determined by the state. The current levels, which are subject to change, can be found online. Each MIAA sport committee is working with health experts to provide the safest return to play protocols specific to that sport.
Is it possible that they move some fall sports to the spring season?
Possible, but not likely. I believe that it is more likely that we could have three condensed seasons from January-June if fall sports are not allowed. This model, which has been proposed in other states, leaves open the opportunity to play all sports in all three seasons if the trends and numbers allow.
What about physicals?
The current policy states that student athletes must have a physical within the last 13 months on file. The MIAA made a proposal to the state to adjust this policy to 18 months. Whether this proposal is approved or rejected, I will include this information in the registration.
Again, nothing is definite until we hear from Governor Baker. As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, I am sure more questions and concerns will come to light. Please feel free to reach out at any point. I will send out an update as soon as I have more information.
Stay safe and be well!