Lance Angel

Palestine Wildcats football coach Lance Angel watches from the sideline as his team attempts to go in for a touchdown.

The University Interscholastic League remains uncertain when high school sports will resume.

During a meeting Friday of the UIL legislative council, executive director Charles Breithaupt said the UIL will consider examples from other sports organizations — specifically, other states’ high school sports governing bodies, the NCAA and the NFL — in making decisions about resuming practices this summer and games in fall.

“We're not going to start any practices in the summer until we see that the National Football League, college football, the NBA, Major League Baseball, any of those pro sports, have resumed play,” Breithaupt said during a council meeting conducted through Zoom.

The organization announced in early April an indefinite suspension of all sanctioned in-person activities. Two two weeks later, it canceled remaining spring sports seasons and championships.

The UIL plans to honor all the teams that qualified for last month's boys state tournament that was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. A letter sent Tuesday from UIL to school officials stated each team will be awarded a gold colored “UIL State Championships” trophy, gold medals, and programs.

In addition, the UIL is offering to have a virtual awards presentation via Zoom for each team.

Moving forward, the most notable potential change for high school athletics is expanded coaching and workout access for teams during this summer and fall.

Practices, rehearsals, and workouts were suspended by the UIL when it cancelled all remaining 2019-2020 spring activities and state championships.

Last summer was the first time the UIL allowed two hours per week of non-contact, sport-specific instruction between coaches and players, in addition to traditional conditioning sessions. Time allotted this summer could increase to make up for lost time during the pandemic.

“I expect to see some significant (change) to coaching restrictions, specifically in the summer and fall, allowing kids and coaches the opportunity to make up for as much of this missed time as we can offer,” UIL Deputy Director Jamey Harrison said.

The UIL also resolved that students cleared in physical examinations in the 2019-2020 school year can continue to participate in 2020-2021, unless further medical evaluation is required.

On another matter, the UIL temporarily expanded Breithaupt’s authority on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes, which could include scheduling adjustments or start dates for various sports and activities in fall, will be communicated with the council.

The legislative council meets again on June 16.

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