UIL announces guidelines for student-athletes and marching band practices in Texas

ByRoxie Bustamante KTRK logo
Friday, May 22, 2020
Houston-area school districts lay out plans for HS sports
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ABC13's Roxie Bustamante reached out to 15 different Houston-area school districts about a high school sports plan. Here's what they said.

The governing body overseeing high school sports in Texas just released guidelines for its member schools to begin limited summer training.

In a statement Friday, the University Interscholastic League, or UIL, said "schools can begin limited UIL summer strength and conditioning and marching band practice starting June 8, 2020 as restrictions due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic begin to be lifted across the state of Texas."

"Schools may use discretion when considering whether or not to offer in-person programs, and areas of the state facing COVID-19 related challenges should consult with local health officials to determine what additional restrictions, if any, should be added to these guidelines. Schools deciding to move forward with offering in-person activities are encouraged to do so carefully and with vigilance, ensuring safety requirements outlined in this approach are closely adhered to in order to mitigate risk," the league added.

UIL said it will continue to work with state officials and monitor the CDC and other federal guidance to ensure the safety of students.

"We are cautiously optimistic about beginning summer strength and conditioning programs and marching band practices that safely allow students to get back to working with their coaches and directors in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year," said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. "While we are eager to resume UIL activities, we must do so carefully, deliberately and with an understanding that major adjustments are needed to ensure safety. The requirements outline an approach designed to help schools mitigate risk while ensuring students are physically prepared to return to activities in the Fall, should state and federal guidelines allow."

The announcement comes during phase two of Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen Texas.

SEE MORE: Gov. Abbott announces further Phase II reopenings in Texas

On May 18, Abbott announced youth sports could begin holding practices without spectators other than one parent or guardian per participant, as needed, beginning on May 31. Those sports may begin holding games or similar competitions, with or without spectators, on or after June 15.

The video above is Gov. Abbott's full announcement of reopenings from May 18.