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Just over one month after suspending all interscholastic activities, the UIL announced on Friday that all remaining high school sports within the 2019-20 school year have been cancelled.

The decision falls in line with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mandate earlier in the afternoon that all schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year as the state continues to take proactive measures to subdue the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“Our staff had been working hard on plans to resume activities this spring, but without schools in session, interscholastic activities cannot continue,” said Dr. Charles Breithaupt, UIL executive director. “Our highest priority during this challenging time is ensuring the health and safety of our students and communities and making progress in the containment of COVID-19 in Texas. We are now turning our attention to the 2020-2021 school year.”

All practices and workouts remain suspended until further notice, and prior protocol regarding remote instruction remains in place, according to the UIL.

Friday’s decision prematurely ends play in eight different UIL sports still in season: boys basketball, boys soccer, girls soccer, baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field.

The UIL’s initial suspension occurred March 12 during the first day of the state boys basketball tournament. High school soccer’s regular season was down to its final two weeks before beginning the postseason on March 26, while baseball and softball teams had either just begun or were approaching the start of district play.

On March 19, the UIL extended that suspension to May 4 before later amending it to an unspecified timetable as to when sports would potentially resume. All the while, the athletics body had been working on contingency plans to complete all suspended sports.

“I am grateful to the UIL staff for their leadership and dedication to students,” said Curtis Rhodes, UIL legislative council chair. “Together we will get through this and we look forward to the day students are once again able to participate in education-based interscholastic activities.” 

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools followed suit in cancelling the remainder of its 2019-20 athletics schedule.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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