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State By State Return To Play Update: News and Moves From The Latest Seven States

As we continue to monitor where each state is in regards to returning to play for high schools across the country, we have updates from Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Today’s update includes season shifts, individual district decisions, meeting schedules, and more. 

You can view all the 50 States’ Return to Play Updates at the links below. 

Alabama Through Illinois
Indiana Through Montana
Nebraska Through Pennsylvania
Rhode Island Through Wyoming

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Colorado – Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) have come to a consensus on high school sports, which may spark differing opinions. On August 4, CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green delivered the youtube announcement that revealed the athletics calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. According to the video, and a CHSAA press release, volleyball is listed as one of the Fall sports that is ‘unable to be played under the current state health guidelines.’ The girls’ volleyball season will now be part of what the CHSAA has named ‘Season C,’ which will take place starting March 1 and end with championships by May 1. It was not confirmed whether those ‘championships’ would be for a state title. 

Delaware – The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association is scheduled to meet Thursday, August 6, to develop a Fall athletics plan. The meeting comes after Delaware Governor John Carney announced on Tuesday, August 4, that schools may reopen using a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Long time board member Caesar Rodney, a school superintendent, told Delaware State News, “We have to come to terms with ‘What do we want to do?’ The governor has done his part. He said schools can reopen in a hybrid model. Now, what does that mean for athletics? Well, it means that, for those schools where students are returning, they can have athletics.”

Michigan – The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) announced which states may return to practice on the start date of August 12. However, ‘moderate and high-risk’ sports, including girls’ volleyball, may not begin competition until after the MHSAA council decides, which should be by August 20. 

Minnesota – The Minnesota High School League made a shocking decision on Tuesday, August 4, to modify the Fall sports season. Most sports will participate in a shorter season. However, volleyball, along with football, will not be played this Fall, even though teams will still be allowed to practice. They will have to wait until the Spring. This decision would also push back traditional Spring sports to May. Volleyball coaches were not pleased with the decision. Kasson Mantorville coach Adam VanOort told local ABC 6 News, “Would you choose a two-month, condensed high school season that’s played against local teams only? Or would you play a six month J-O season that you get to travel nationally and play some of the top competition and get recruited by college coaches? So my concern is that some of those girls that want to be college volleyball players and that are used to playing on the national-level club teams might have to make a difficult choice.” 

Missouri – The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) published a news release on Monday, August 3, announcing that it is working on a solution for “areas where local health departments have required virtual learning options only and recommending no sports or activities in the Fall.” No finalized plan has been revealed. However, MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn stated, “With the changing face of the start of the school year for our member schools, the Board and staff want to discuss possibilities that would allow as many students to participate as safely as possible. The Association wants to work with schools to provide as many opportunities as possible. For the schools currently planning to start the year as normal, our current hope is that the Fall season will proceed to its fruition.”

Ohio – Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted was quoted Tuesday August 4, saying, “We are still working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to finalize that plan, and we are still considering many options,” Husted said at a news conference. “We are trying to keep the options open because we want student-athletes to return to play.” A handful of counties have recommended that no Fall sports be played until at least October 1. According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), it is well within their rights. Cincinnati is one of the most recent to announce that all Fall athletics will be put on pause until late September. 

Pennsylvania – The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, one of the largest in the state, has announced that it will delay the start of the Fall sports season until September 25, after a unanimous vote of 18-0. Volleyball teams in the EPC will have 11 total matches (10 in conference and one seeded match). The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association posted a news release on July 29 stating, “In addressing the COVID-19 crisis and how it has affected the 67 counties differently, PIAA understands the flexibility needed by school districts to make localized measured decisions, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.” 

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