The high school fall sports season, assuming it is held at all with so much uncertainty this year, will be pushed back until at least September 14.
The MIAA Board of Directors unanimously voted on Tuesday to make the change at the recommendation of the organization’s Sports Medicine Committee.
However, the MIAA does not have the last word on how and when schools will reopen and how sports will resume. Those decisions will ultimately be made by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE), Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and Governor Charlie Baker’s office.
“If we can do sports, we would certainly like to do it, but only if it can be done in a safe way,” said DESE Commission Jeffrey Riley. “That may mean that we have to modify sports. I’m not really sure. We really have to make some decisions on what athletics could look like.”
Earlier this month the Governor released guidance for a variety of summer/fall sports and listed them under a number of categories. These categories are low, moderate and high risks and the state is currently prohibiting high risk sports to be played.
Low risk sports include things like gymnastics, tennis, and golf. Right now, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) have said that Cross-Country is a moderate risk in the state.
Sports such as football, soccer and competitive cheer are high risk in Massachusetts and therefore could not be played under the current guidelines from the state.
The MIAA also voted to reconvene after DESE and the other state entities put out their final recommendations for the 2020/2021 school year.
One new rule that was approved at the meeting was to suspend the handshake protocol at the end of the games during this time.
The next MIAA Board of Directors meeting will be held on September 29th.