TAPPS delays start of fall sports

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) announced Friday morning it is pushing back the start of fall sports until at least Sept. 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will play shortened seasons for those sports but won’t move their state championships back. TAPPS, the largest governing body for private school athletics in Texas, ruled official fall workouts can’t begin until Sept. 8 for any sports.

While the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees public schools in Texas, has yet to unveil plans for a start of athletics for the 2020-21 school year, this is possibly a sign of things to come.

For TAPPS schools, football strength and conditioning is allowed beginning the week of Sept. 8. A week later on Sept. 15, full pads will be allowed for all athletes that participated the week of Sept. 8. Students who missed strength and conditioning during the week of Sept. 8  will be limited to strength and conditioning only.

Beginning Sept. 21, after a week of full pads, one scrimmage will be allowed as TAPPS is limiting schools to just one scrimmage this season compared to the usual two scrimmages during the preseason.

The following week of Sept. 28 marks the first week for Interscholastic games, meaning the first official football games of the 2020-21 season will take place Oct. 1-3. Students who were absent during the first few weeks will be limited to strength and conditioning only.

The 11-man football state championship games remain scheduled for Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.

TAPPS volleyball, soccer and field hockey teams can begin strength and conditioning on Sept. 8, and volleyball teams can begin playing scrimmages on Sept. 14 and matches on Sept. 21. Soccer and field hockey can begin their games Sept. 28. Soccer state championships will still be Oct. 30, and the volleyball state finals will be Nov. 11-13.

TAPPS also said students taking part in virtual learning, or a combination of virtual and in-person learning, will be eligible to compete in sports and extracurricular activities.

The UIL is expected to make an announcement regarding fall sports on Monday, according to multiple coaches.