The University Interscholastic League, the governing body of Texas high school sports, announced the suspension of all UIL-sanctioned contests and competition throughout the state due to concerns regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a news release from the organization’s offices in Austin.
“To support the health and safety of our students and communities, the University Interscholastic League is suspending all UIL sanctioned contests due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Texas,” the news release read.
The suspension of UIL sanctioned activities will take effect March 16 and run through March 29 at a minimum, with competition tentatively slated to resume March 30.
“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”
Practices and rehearsals may still be held with approval from individual school districts. The UIL also stated that it would continue to follow the lead of both state and local officials in determining additional steps as more information becomes available.
“We are in support of UIL’s decision to postpone games to ensure everyone’s safety as all situations are monitored,” McAllen ISD Athletic Director Paula Gonzalez said in a statement. “This decision provides consistency in all athletic programs across the state. Our McAllen ISD teams will be allowed to practice and will continue to work hard.”
The UIL and TASCO, the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches, also announced alternative dates for the state soccer playoffs now that the boys and girls soccer seasons have been pushed back. The new dates are as follows:
District certification — April 11
Bi-District round — April 14
Area round — April 18
Regional quarterfinals — April 21
Regional semifinals/finals — April 24-25 (Regional tournaments may be set up by the four qualifying teams in each respective region. More information to come.)
State championships — April 29-May 2
The district certification dates for both golf and tennis have been altered as well to accommodate for the suspension of competition. The golf district certification date has been pushed back to April 14, while the tennis certification date has been moved to April 18.
Neither the golf or tennis state tournament dates have been altered thus far. The previously district certification and state playoff dates for baseball, softball or track and field have been changed at this time.
However, the UIL noted that the district and area meets for track and field may be combined in order to expedite postseason competition. Currently, the district and area meets are both scheduled to be completed by April 18.