Photo by John Roemer
Just two weeks after the MPSSAA announced plans for a return to sports beginning on February 1, 2021, it has reversed course. On Thursday the association announced that individual public school systems throughout the state can choose to opt in to a fall sports season that would begin on October 7th, with competition commencing on the 27th and concluding in mid-December.
The plan - as was the case with the second-semester plan announced earlier this month - includes no definitive plans for regional and state championships. It is unclear if such championships would even be contested if multiple school systems do not give teams permission to opt into the fall season (as of this time, Montgomery County, the state's largest public school system, plans to continue with its virtual season).
The two plans, if both are executed, would seem to present scheduling problems for state championships. The MPSSAA's latest update states that systems that opt into the newly-announced fall season would compete in only winter and spring sports in the second semester, each longer than the seasons originally planned in the second-semester plan. Systems that do not opt in, however, can continue with the second-semester plan as scheduled, which would create the two following sport schedules.
|Plan||XC Dates||Indoor Dates||Outdoor Dates|
|Second-Semester (announced 9/11)||Mar. 15 - May 8||Feb. 1 - Mar. 27||Apr. 26 - June 19|
|Early Fall (announced 9/24)||Oct. 27 - Dec. 19||Dec. 14 - Mar. 13||Mar. 15 - June 19|
At the time, no public school systems have stated that they will opt into the new fall season, and the MPSSAA has yet to make an announcement regarding official state championships. In the released roadmaps, the schedules allow time for "culminating events/tournaments", but nothing has been announced for either option.