In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Interscholastic League and Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools announced suspensions for all sanctioned events on Friday.
The UIL announced that, effective March 16, all interscholastic competition is suspended through March 29. TAPPS' events will be suspended through April 12.
“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” said Dr. Charles Breithaupt, UIL executive director. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”
The UIL added that practices may be held at the school district's discretion. The athletics body noted that the ongoing situation is fluid and that the they "will adhere to the direction of state and local officials to monitor this situation and will make additional announcements as needed."
Earlier on Thursday, the UIL announced the suspension of the state boys basketball tournament, which played its 1A and 3A semifinals in front of a limited attendance, restricted to pre-purchased ticket holders.
“After much consultation with government and health officials, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the remainder of the UIL State Basketball Tournament,” Breithaupt said. “Our number one priority remains the well-being of our student-athletes and spectators and we are taking every possible precaution to keep them safe.”
Later in the afternoon, numerous school districts around the area announced a one-week extension to spring break, suspending high school athletics until further notice.
“As a district, we want to take care of the kids and look out for their best interests,” said Jeff Smith, Plano ISD athletic director. “Spring is one of our busiest times of the year, so there’s a lot of activities going on, whether it’s athletics or fine arts, and obviously there are a lot of things that have to be done to make plans for those types of moves, but we’re in full support of taking care of the kids and making sure we’re on the safe side.”
Among the sports impacted is high school soccer, whose postseason was initially set to begin March 26. In the wake of the UIL's announcement, an email sent by the UIL to high school coaches revealed tentative plans to reschedule the start of the postseason for April 14, with the state tournament taking place April 29-May 2.
In addition, the UIL plans to amend the district certification deadlines for both golf, which moves from April 8 to April 14, and tennis, which moves from April 14 to April 18.
The rest of the UIL spring postseason, including baseball, softball and track and field, would go forth as scheduled.