UIL plans to complete all Spring sports State Championships
HOUSTON – "This is a situation that is changing rapidly."
University Interscholastic League Deputy Executive Director Jamey Harrison summed up the last 24-48 hours with those words.
In that span, the UIL went from no changes to the boys basketball state tournament, to limiting fans to 500 per school for Saturday's title games to ultimately postponing the event all-together on Thursday afternoon.
"This is an unprecedented event and it has escalated at a pace that is just different than any of us has experienced in the past," Harrison said in a press conference at the Alamodome on Thursday.
The key word here is postponed. Not cancelled.
According to Harrison, the UIL has every intention to complete the 2020 UIL Boys Basketball Tournament at some point.
"We don't have a date in our minds," Harrison said about potential time to restart the tournament. "I suppose by the time next basketball season starts will be too late to finish this basketball season. Anytime in between here and there right now is free game."
Harrison did state they would like to complete the event at the Alamodome if possible.
But boys' basketball is only one of many spring state championships the UIL will have to worry about moving forward. To date in 2020, the UIL has completed the swimming & diving, wrestling and girls' basketball state championship events.
The others still to be completed include boys' basketball, girls and boys soccer, tennis, golf, track & field, baseball and softball.
"I can tell you our staff has completed contingency plans for every single state championship that has not been completed, including this one," Harrison said. "But I can't tell you if that will happen next week or next month."
The UIL on Friday afternoon suspended all athletic and academic competitions until March 29, effective immediately. Practices and rehearsals being held will be held at the discretion of the local school district.
The next state championship event on the docket was girls and boys' soccer, which was tentatively set for April 15-18 and in year's past had been set in Georgetown. The first round of the playoffs were tentatively set for March 26-28, which will not happen now due to the UIL's announcement on Friday.
According to an email sent to coaches on Friday, the soccer playoff dates have been altered to the following.
Bi-District: April 14 (Orig. March 26-28)
Area: April 18 (Orig. March 30-31)
Reg. Quarterfinals: April 21 (Orig. April 2-4)
Reg. Semifinals & Finals: April 24-25 (Orig. April 10-11)
State Tournament: April 29-May 2 (Orig. April 15-18)
The rest of the UIL spring state championships aren't tentatively scheduled until May, including track & field (May 8-9), boys' golf (May 11-12), girls' golf (May 18-19), tennis (May 21-22). Softball (June 3-6) and Baseball (June 10-13) wouldn't be until June. According to the email to coaches on Friday, none of those dates have changed at this time.
"We have plans A through F developed and working our way down the alphabet," Harrison said about contingency plans to get these championships complete.
Many Houston-area school districts have already closed campuses and cancelled athletic events for the week of March 16-20. On Friday morning, the Southwest Preparatory Conference and TAPPS announced the cancelling of all sports events until April 13.