Coronavirus suspends all high school sports
March 16, 2020
It is not easy being the University Interscholastic League that governs all high school sports under normal conditions.
But there is nothing normal regarding the challenges concerning the Coronavirus. The UIL had to make hard decisions regarding the boys state basketball tournament when they suspended play as the tournament began.
There is still hope that a state champion will be crowned in the latter part of the spring at the Alamodome in San Antonio. There are still two Houston area teams via for a state title in the Yates Lions and the Dickinson Gators.
“We’ve dealt with hurricanes in the fall, and you sort of work around that, but shutting everything down, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Friendswood athletic director Robert Koopmann said.
“I don’t envy the UIL when it comes to decision making, but they’ll give us the dates when it comes down to it,” Koopmann said.
While all the schools in Friendswood, Pearland, Manvel, and Shadow Creek will be closed this week, if school is back in session next week, teams will have the option to resume practices, even though the UIL's suspension on competition would still be in effect thru March 29.
While the Coronavirus pandemic's effect is unprecedented, the local schools have experience in dealing with extended postponements during hurricane season.
“I’ve been through a fall in football where we played like Tuesday night, Saturday night, Tuesday night trying to catch up, which is hard in football,” Koopmann said. “So, you can certainly play Tuesday, Friday, Saturday in baseball and softball and squeeze in a lot of games in a short amount of time.”
On a positive note, the UIL already has set new dates for district certification and playoff games for boys and girls soccer, golf and tennis.
In regards to the soccer seasons, most local teams only have two district matches left, and the regular season finale was set to take place March 20. With competition suspended through March 29, the UIL has pushed the bi-district round of the playoffs to April 14, the area round to April 18, the regional quarterfinals to April 21, the regional tournament to April 24-25 and the state tournament to April 29-May 2.
Also, with district golf and tennis tournaments disrupted by the suspension, the UIL moved up district certification to April 14 for golf and April 18 for tennis.
There will be no changes, at this time, to the dates for the regional and state golf tournaments, the regional and state tennis tournaments, any of the playoff track and field meets, or the softball and baseball playoffs.
But, when it comes to baseball and softball, there could be changes to the schedules — which could vary depending on just how long the stoppage in play ends up lasting — to get in a sufficient amount of district games.