Practice for five winter sports begins next week; competitions set to start by Feb. 22nd

by Gary Adornato

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association is gearing up for a winter sports season, which will begin with pre-season workouts on Feb. 8th, according to MIAA Executive Director Lee Dove.

“We have been working hard to put together opportunities for our winter athletes and we are releasing a statement today,” Dove told VSN. “We will begin on Feb. 8th and competitions will begin by Feb. 22nd.”

Unlike the fall, when MIAA schools were granted permission to participate in “open season,” in which each school decided who and how much it would play, the 2021 Winter Season will have a true MIAA league schedule for five of its winter sports – basketball, ice hockey, swimming, squash and wrestling. Indoor track, however, will not take place. In addition, Dove also stated that the league will have no post-season play or championship games for the winter season. Dove also said schools do have the right to opt out of play and indicated that some have already indicated they plan to do so.

The season will also be condensed, concluding by March 15th. The MIAA remains on track to play a full spring season, with post-season events, beginning with pre-season workouts on March 1st.

Here is the official announcement released today by the MIAA:

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association announces that it will offer an abbreviated winter sports season to run from February 8th through March 15th for its member schools. Participation in the sports of basketball, ice hockey, squash, swimming and wrestling will be provided through league issued schedules for those schools who are prepared to resume athletic competitions. Athletic administrators at member schools determined that providing the opportunity to play outweighed the need for post season and championships during this condensed winter season. Maintaining appropriate health and safety protocols for all involved will remain as the top priority. The MIAA is hopeful that this opportunity will progress with little interruption from virus related concerns.

In order to complete the winter sports regular season schedules there will be an overlap with the scheduled start date for spring sports. March 1st has been established as the beginning of the spring sport season and every attempt to offer a safe and fully competitive regular season will be made by the league.