BOSTON (CBS/AP) — There likely won’t be any high school football in Massachusetts this fall, although other sports will probably be played and there is hope that football can be played later in the school year, officials said Wednesday.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Board of Directors approved a recommendation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to allow low and moderate-risk sports to play with modifications during the fall season.
Those sports, including golf, cross country, field hockey, soccer, gymnastics and girl’s volleyball would begin practices starting Sept. 18.
So-called higher-risk sports — including football — would play during a “floating season” that would start in late February and run into April.
“We’re going to do all we can during the fall to keep the football players focused,” Andover football coach E.J. Perry told WBZ-TV. “We look forward to playing at some point, we have to get football back on the map.”
Sports will be played based on coronavirus risks and are subject to state office of Environmental and Energy Affairs guidelines. School districts will be able to adjust start dates, taking into consideration their coronavirus rates.
The board also passed a motion to eliminate MIAA-sponsored postseason tournaments in the fall.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in a statement Tuesday said sports play an important role in education.
“Organized physical activity should be encouraged, within clear health and safety parameters,” the agency said. “Most sports can be played in ways that minimize those risks. In many cases, that will mean that interscholastic competitions may not look the same and may need to be played under fairly stringent restrictions with modified rules.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)