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Texas High School Football - what will happen this Fall?

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There’s nothing better than a Football Friday Night in Texas! As a Texas football referee for the Junior Highs up to the Varsity level, I love my “side job” during the Fall! I enjoy working with the smaller crews referring the junior high kids as much as the Varsity on Friday night, because I love the game and assisting the younger players/levels too.

 

I hope that we have kids in school this Fall, which will help have a football season, but who knows? I think we’re still at least through July for a “final” decision on that!

 

I’m looking forward to it and if things go right we’ll have our Fridays back, plus the Longhorns on Saturdays. Nothing is better than the Friday Nights in Texas - here’s hoping it happens! Even though I reside in a large city, the one-school towns have the best atmosphere for football - IMO.

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Ain’t happening. School districts don’t have the money to mass test HS football players 

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17 minutes ago, Saint Austin said:

Has anybody seen the proposal that fall and spring sports “swap” seasons this academic year?

No, but I like the thought on it. Would make some sense

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56 minutes ago, MonkeyDoughnut said:

No, but I like the thought on it. Would make some sense

Seems like only a proposal from a TAPPS coach though and that UIL doesn't look to be entertaining the idea.

https://www.dallasnews.com/high-school-sports/football/2020/06/28/see-details-including-potential-start-and-end-dates-for-each-sport-of-proposal-to-flip-flop-fall-and-spring-sports/

Quote

See details — including potential start and end dates for each sport — of proposal to flip-flop fall and spring sports

Check out the reaction — both for and against the idea — that appeared on social media.

A proposal was sent to TAPPS on Sunday that suggests the idea of flip-flopping fall and spring sports for the upcoming school year.
A proposal was sent to TAPPS on Sunday that suggests the idea of flip-flopping fall and spring sports for the upcoming school year.(Steve Hamm / Special Contributor)

By Greg Riddle

9:17 PM on Jun 28, 2020 — Updated at 11:37 PM on Jun 28, 2020

 

On Saturday, The Dallas Morning News reported that First Baptist football coach and head of school Jason Lovvorn was planning to make a proposal to TAPPS that would call for moving all fall sports to the spring and moving all spring sports to the fall.

As coronavirus numbers spike in Texas, and as new record highs for COVID-19 cases continue to be reported by the state, Lovvorn is trying to be proactive and find a way for all sports to be played this school year. Lovvorn works for a private school, but his hope is that TAPPS and the UIL would both consider his idea and decide to work together to make it a reality.

On Sunday, Lovvorn sent his proposal to TAPPS. For now, it is just a proposal, nothing more.

The proposal suggests making baseball, softball, tennis, golf and track and field the first sports to start, with all beginning practices on Aug. 3. State championships for baseball, softball and track would be held in November.

It proposes making football and volleyball the last sports to start, with both beginning practices on Feb. 15. Volleyball would begin matches Feb. 22, while football would play its first games March 5. The volleyball state championships would be played in late May, while the football state championships would be held May 27-29 for TAPPS and June 9-12 for the UIL.

But Lovvorn provided The News with a look at the details of his proposal Sunday, including a breakdown of potential dates that each sport could start and finish for UIL and TAPPS schools, as well as potential dates for various playoff rounds. If the normal spring sports were moved to the fall but couldn’t be played then, Lovvorn’s proposal includes moving those sports back to the spring so they could still be played this school year.

Lovvorn’s idea has support from many Dallas-area football coaches, but several baseball and softball coaches voiced their dislike for the idea on Twitter after The News’ story appeared online. Coaches in the normal spring sports don’t want to see their sports get canceled for a second straight school year, and they worry that there could be a greater possibility of that happening if they were moved up to the fall.

UIL deputy executive director Jamey Harrison said in The News’ story that “Every option is on the table when it comes to trying to make sure we get to have our seasons.” But he added, “Right now, we are not looking at flipping seasons.”

The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association still contacted the UIL because it was so against the idea of flip-flopping sports. Here is what the THSBCA posted on Twitter on Sunday.

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Here is a look at the highlights from Lovvorn’s proposal.

 

Remember, this is just a proposal, and no one has agreed to any of this at this point.

PROPOSAL

For the 2020-2021 school year, Texas high schools should move all fall sports to the spring and all spring sports to the fall.

After swapping the seasons, if all or part of the spring sports seasons cannot be completed in the fall due to COVID-19, the spring sports would be moved back to their originally scheduled start date.

POTENTIAL SPORTS CALENDAR

Note: Dates would be for both UIL and TAPPS, unless there are different dates noted for a category.

 

BASEBALL

First day for practices: Aug. 3

First day for games: Aug. 10

Playoffs begin: Oct. 17 (UIL), Nov. 5 (TAPPS)

State championships: Nov. 18-21

SOFTBALL

 

First day for practices: Aug. 3

First day for games: Aug. 10

Playoffs begin: Oct. 10 (UIL), Nov. 10 (TAPPS)

State championships: Nov. 11-14 (UIL), Nov. 18-21 (TAPPS)

TENNIS

First day for practices: Aug. 3

 

District: Sept. 25 (UIL), Sept. 30-Oct. 2 (TAPPS)

Regionals: Oct. 5-7 (UIL)

State championships: Oct. 29-30 (UIL), Oct. 13-16 (TAPPS)

GOLF

First day for practices: Aug. 3

District: Sept. 18 (UIL), Oct. 28 (TAPPS)

 

Regionals: Sept. 29-30 (UIL)

State: UIL girls (Oct. 19-20), UIL boys (Oct. 26-27), TAPPS — 1A/2A (Oct. 27-28), 3A/4A (Nov. 2-3), 5A/6A (Nov. 9-10)

TRACK & FIELD

First day for practices: Aug. 3

District: Oct. 16-17 (UIL), Oct. 22-24 (TAPPS)

Area: Oct. 23-24 (UIL)

 

Regionals: Oct. 30-31 (UIL), Oct. 28-30 (TAPPS)

State championships: Nov. 13-14 (UIL), TAPPS (Nov. 6-7)

BASKETBALL

First day for practices: Oct. 28* (UIL), Oct. 26* (TAPPS)

First day for games: Nov. 6*

*The UIL and TAPPS could choose to abbreviate the indoor winter sports schedules by delaying the start date if there is still a heightened level of uncertainty about the safety of those activities. Once again, playing the lower risk spring sports in the fall would give schools and the state organizations valuable experience in handling this situation.

 

Playoffs begin: UIL girls (Jan. 19), UIL boys (Jan. 25), TAPPS boys and girls (Jan. 30)

State final four: UIL girls (Feb. 4-6), UIL boys (Feb. 11-13), TAPPS boys and girls (Feb. 12-13)

SWIMMING & DIVING

Regionals: Jan. 8-9 (UIL), Jan. 2-6 (TAPPS)

State championships: Jan. 22-23 (UIL), Jan. 19-20 (TAPPS)

WRESTLING

 

Regionals: Jan. 15-16 (UIL)

State championships: Jan. 22-23 (UIL), Jan. 30 (TAPPS)

UIL SOCCER

First day for practices: Nov. 23

First day for games: Dec. 10

Playoffs begin: Feb. 24

 

State championships: March 17-20

TAPPS WINTER SOCCER

First day for practices: Oct. 26

First day for games: Nov. 6

Playoffs begin: Jan. 23

State championships: Feb. 5-6

 

VOLLEYBALL

First day for practices: Feb. 15

First day for matches: Feb. 22

Playoffs begin: May 10 (UIL), May 7 (TAPPS)

State championships: May 26-29 (UIL), May 19-21 (TAPPS)

CROSS COUNTRY

 

State championships: May 15 (UIL), May 3 (TAPPS)

FOOTBALL

First day for practices: Feb. 15

Scrimmage: Feb. 26

First day for games: March 5

Playoffs begin: May 7

 

State championships: June 9-12 (UIL), May 27-29 (TAPPS)

RATIONALE BEHIND THE PROPOSAL

Note: This is from Jason Lovvorn in the proposal that he sent to TAPPS.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, and the number of cases consistently rise throughout the state of Texas, school leaders are facing the monumental task of preparing for a school year like no other. Across the state, the focus is — and must be — to create a safe environment in our schools that will give us the best chance to educate students in-person and on-campus.

Schools and districts are spending thousands of dollars to mitigate and protect against the spread of COVID-19 within our communities. Schools will be taking unprecedented measures to minimize widespread exposure, such as modified schedules, temperature checks and symptom screenings, facial coverings and shields, and many other precautions outside of their standard operating procedures. Our schools are taking these drastic steps, breaking from the traditional educational norms and proactively planning rather than imprudently reacting, all for the benefit of our students and our communities at large.

However, another area in which we must prepare and think creatively for the benefit of all involved is in regards to the upcoming sports seasons. While our schools are working hard to protect students throughout the school day, it appears that our current plan will then be to send them off to compete in football, a sport that by its very nature demands that they remain in close physical contact with one another — play after play after play.

 

If our schools take appropriate distancing measures and carefully follow safety protocols, it is possible that when someone within a school community tests positive for COVID-19, large groups will not have to quarantine for an extended period. Our schools should be preparing with that goal in mind and, although it will be difficult, it is possible.

However, if a football player tests positive, the nature of the game dictates that the player’s teammates and opponents (depending on the positive test date) should quarantine due to close contact and exposure. Volleyball is the most popular fall team sport for girls, and it is well-documented that indoor activities have a much higher risk than outdoor activities.

If the goal of schools going into the fall is to provide an environment for our students that will limit exposure to COVID-19 until we have a vaccine or more effective treatment, we should consider which sports give us the best opportunity to accomplish that goal in the fall. The spring sports — baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and track & field — allow us to offer our students athletic opportunities in environments much more conducive to social distancing.

POTENTIAL INFECTION RISK BY SPORT

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) created a document titled “Guidance for Opening up High School Athletics and Activities.” The NFHS categorized sports by their level of potential infection risk. The table shows the risk levels of UIL and TAPPS high school sports based on the information provided by the NFHS.

HIGHER RISK

 

Wrestling, football

These sports involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

MODERATE RISK

Basketball, volleyball*, baseball*, softball*, soccer, tennis*, swimming relays, pole vault*, high jump*, long jump*

*Could potentially be considered “lower risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of masks by participants

These sports involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can’t be cleaned between participants.

 

LOWER RISK

Individual running events, throwing events (shot put, discus), individual swimming, golf, sideline cheer, cross country running (with staggered starts)

These sports can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.

THE FULL PROPOSAL

Here is a link to the full proposal that First Baptist football coach and head of school Jason Lovvorn sent to TAPPS on Sunay.

REACTION ONLINE

 

Here are some of the responses that appeared on Twitter after The Dallas Morning News first reported that Lovvorn was going to propose the idea of flip-flopping sports.

THOSE WHO SUPPORT THE IDEA

 

THOSE WHO DON’T LIKE THE IDEA

 
 
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Find more high school sports stories from The Dallas Morning News here.

 
 

Greg Riddle, SportsDayHS writer and editor. I have worked at The Dallas Morning News since 2000. I cover high school sports as a reporter and help coordinate our coverage. I graduated from TCU, where I ran track and cross country. I previously worked at the Weatherford Democrat, Marshall News Messenger, Amarillo Globe-News and Arlington Morning News.

griddle@dallasnews.com /greg.riddle.94 @DMNGregRiddle
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Edited by Saint Austin
premature posting

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In Illinois athletics, there was a rule---if you missed that day of classes, you could not participate in any interscholastic competitions.  This was if you were sick, got back from vacation, went to a funeral, or you had to work with your dad at the farm.  You could not play in a game.  And if you missed Friday school, that extended to Saturday games (our football games were typically midday Saturday, not Friday night like in Texas).  Only exceptions were if you were gone from class doing something else academic (academic/club competitions, visiting a college, scholarship interviews, etc.).  

Is there something like that in Texas?  because the hard part is even if you have the money and resources to play high school football, half the kids (at least in our district) are going to be remote learning, they're not technically in school that day.  However, you could argue that they are still "attending class" from home, but somebody's gonna need to change that language toot-sweet. 

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12 hours ago, msucolt45 said:

 

There’s nothing better than a Football Friday Night in Texas! As a Texas football referee for the Junior Highs up to the Varsity level, I love my “side job” during the Fall! I enjoy working with the smaller crews referring the junior high kids as much as the Varsity on Friday night, because I love the game and assisting the younger players/levels too.

 

I hope that we have kids in school this Fall, which will help have a football season, but who knows? I think we’re still at least through July for a “final” decision on that!

 

I’m looking forward to it and if things go right we’ll have our Fridays back, plus the Longhorns on Saturdays. Nothing is better than the Friday Nights in Texas - here’s hoping it happens! Even though I reside in a large city, the one-school towns have the best atmosphere for football - IMO.

 

COVID is the greatest threat mankind has faced. You need to show proper respect instead of asking questions.

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13 hours ago, Fletch said:

Yeah I’m pretty sure we’re fucked, dude. 

I mean the UIL lifted its longstanding restrictions on live broadcasting Friday games, so that tells me they've already got their finger on the "No Fans In The Stands" button, which is just next to the "No Football At All" button.

 

1 hour ago, Lobo said:

In Illinois athletics, there was a rule---if you missed that day of classes, you could not participate in any interscholastic competitions.  This was if you were sick, got back from vacation, went to a funeral, or you had to work with your dad at the farm.  You could not play in a game.  And if you missed Friday school, that extended to Saturday games (our football games were typically midday Saturday, not Friday night like in Texas).  Only exceptions were if you were gone from class doing something else academic (academic/club competitions, visiting a college, scholarship interviews, etc.).  

Is there something like that in Texas?  because the hard part is even if you have the money and resources to play high school football, half the kids (at least in our district) are going to be remote learning, they're not technically in school that day.  However, you could argue that they are still "attending class" from home, but somebody's gonna need to change that language toot-sweet. 

No the only rule they have is No Pass No Play. There is no exclusion for missing class on that particular day. And even if they did, you're right in that such rules have to be modified in these specific times.

Edited by hpslugga

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3 hours ago, Saint Austin said:

Has anybody seen the proposal that fall and spring sports “swap” seasons this academic year?

Makes sense. Traditional spring sports have fewer players in close contact than football and basketball. Golf, tennis, baseball, track, imo have a better chance of

being played in the fall than football does. 

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17 minutes ago, HornsOverIthaca said:

For whatever reason, that would require NCAA approval.

Because of the "massive recruiting advantage" it supposedly would give us. 

I think it's an idea pushed by Aggy, the same ones that said no one was watching.

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1 hour ago, perfectchaos007 said:

Contact sports are dead until we get a vaccine and athletes probably won’t be allowed on the field unless they are Covid vaccinated 

Lmao. This is fucking ridiculous and will never happen.

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19 hours ago, Fletch said:

Yeah I’m pretty sure we’re fucked, dude. 

To add to this, I don’t feel comfortable letting high school and college aged kids playing the exact opposite of a social distancing sport. It’s just fucking irresponsible. And yeah, take a look around. There’s bigger shit going on than sports at the moment. And yes, just like all of you, I bleed orange, love high school football and was fucking pissed when they canceled March madness and college baseball season. 

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