Start of fall practices delayed until Sept. 1 as officials continue to evaluate impact of Covid-19


by Gary Adornato

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM) released a joint statement Friday morning concerning the start of preseason training and games for the 2020 Fall athletic season.

After having to shutdown nearly the entire 2020 Spring season as schools closed their campuses and transitioned to distance learning, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, both conferences have been monitoring government mandates in an attempt to determine a roadmap for a safe return to interscholastic athletics for their member schools.

In the statement the MIAA and IAAM announced they are delaying the start of the fall preseason until “on or after” Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. It was originally scheduled for the second week of August. In addition the leagues estimated that league play would begin on or after Sept. 21, 2020.

This does not guarantee, however, that practices or games will actually begin on those dates. It will depend on the current health conditions and the guidelines in place by local, state and national authorities. Both conferences continue to discuss contingency plans for shortening, moving or cancelling each of the 2020-2021 sports seasons.

Here is the complete MIAA/IAAM joint statement:

A Joint Statement on IAAM/MIAA Fall Interscholastic Sports

In an ongoing effort to mitigate health risks while supporting student-athletes, the IAAM and MIAA will be delaying the start of the Fall Preseason until on or after Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

At this time, we anticipate that league play will commence on or after September 21, 2020. Revised schedules will be issued to keep within the projected timeline for fall athletics.

The IAAM and MIAA will continue to reevaluate the viability of interscholastic competition for the fall season. The Board of Governors of both leagues will meet again in mid-August. Blackout periods and out of season practice policies will be waived until further notice.

The IAAM and MIAA share a common commitment to athletics as an extension of the educational process. Participation in healthy athletic practices provides our student-athletes opportunities to compete, build character, acquire, and improve skills, demonstrate leadership, and have fun. Both leagues hope to honor this commitment and, at the same time, keep athletes and their coaches as healthy as possible.