Majority of WMass high schools approved for at least partial fall season, see what sports your school will offer
The process of approving fall high school sports continued through the first week of September as school committees and local departments of health voted on whether or not to approve athletics due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association released modifications for high school sports that ranged from wearing masks to staggered starts to the removal of deliberate contact between players. Those decisions came roughly a week after the MIAA announced four seasons for the 2020-2021 athletic calendar and the postponement of football to a second, “floating,” fall sports season that will take place in late February.
While some of the nearly 60 schools in Western Massachusetts are still awaiting votes and further discussion on the topic, the majority of schools in the region have a clearer picture of their approved high school sports. Those that received approval can begin preseason practices Sept. 18.
The approvals mean that the school districts have the opportunity to play the sports during the Fall Sports I season that runs from Sept. 18 to Nov. 20. It does not guarantee, though, that they will play. Schools that start the season in the “red” through the Department of Public Health’s metrics will have to move all of their fall sports to the Fall Sports II season that is expected to run from Feb. 22 to April 25.
If a school moves to the red after starting the Fall Sports I season, its sports will immediately stop playing and move to the Fall Sports II season.
Football, cheerleading and Unified basketball were automatically placed into Fall Sports II due to their high risk status from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Golf, gymnastics and cross country received low risk designations, while soccer, volleyball and field hockey earned moderate risk modifications.
Many school committees voted to push soccer and volleyball to the second fall season due to its moderate risk designation. Volleyball has the added challenge of being the only fall sport to take place indoors, which led to many schools decision to postpone that season.
Below are the statuses of schools that have determined their fall sports plan as of Sept. 3:
(Note: Since the MIAA already determined football, cheerleading and Unified basketball would be played in the Fall Sports II season, schools listed in the “fully approved” designation are schools that will play the rest of their fall sports offerings during Fall Sports I).
- Baystate Academy
- East Longmeadow
- Paulo Freire
- Pioneer Valley
- Pope Francis
- Smith Voc.
- West Springfield
- Westfield Tech
- Central (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- Commerce (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- Drury (Golf and cross country co-ops in Fall Sports I)
- Duggan (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- Franklin Tech (Golf, field hockey and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Frontier (Golf, field hockey and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Greenfield (Golf, field hockey and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Mahar (Golf, field hockey and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Mount Everett (Golf and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Mount Greylock (Golf and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Palmer (Golf and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Putnam (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- Renaissance (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- Sabis (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- Sci-Tech (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II)
- South Hadley (Volleyball moved to Fall Sports II – fields still need to be approved)
- Turners Falls (Golf and field hockey in Fall Sports I)
- Wahconah (Golf and cross country in Fall Sports I)
- Hoosac Valley
This list will be updated as school districts announce their decisions. Athletic Directors please email firstname.lastname@example.org with updates.