School Systems Making Push for Starting Fall Sports

Boys and girls alike from Boonsboro High School line up for a tri-meet against Smithsburg and Williamsport. The meet took place during Washington County's abbreviated and adjusted fall 2020 sports season that took place in October and November. (Photo by Craig Amoss)

For some local school systems the possibility of a competitive fall sports season during the 2020-21 school year is beginning to seem more like a reality.

On Wednesday, Baltimore County Public Schools passed a motion for schools to begin the fall sports season on February 13, according to the Baltimore Sun. Anne Arundel County Public Schools did the same.

The decision came a day before Governor Larry Hogan's announcement urging local school systems to begin implementing plans to return to the classroom - at least in a hybrid format -  citing studies that show that safe returns to in-person learning do not pose a threat to local communities and do not greatly increase hospitalization rates. A return to the classroom, even if only in a hybrid capacity, could be a key factor in green-lighting a return for athletes and coaces, even if only in a local capacity.

It would not be the first time this year that a school system attempted to move ahead with a local fall sports season. During the fall, the MPSSAA advised local school systems to decide whether or not to allow fall teams to practice and compete. Washington County Public Schools held a makeshift cross country season that featured small dual and tri meets, although the season was cancelled before the scheduled county championship due to rising case numbers around the state in late November.

The MIAA did the same, allowing schools to compete in an "open-schedule" format, and even held a small boys championship meet in late November.

Currently, both Carroll and Frederick counties are competing in a similarly-designed winter sports season which will run through the beginning of February. Indoor track teams have been competing in dual, tri and quad meets in a "polar bear" format that features indoor events on outdoor tracks.