It was a whirlwind day of news updates related to the potential of a fall high school sports season in Maine. Whether or not cross-country athletes across the state will have a season is still to be decided but today was a day for clarification.
Just yesterday the Maine Principal's Association delayed its decision on the fall sports season as they sought additional clarification from the state on the differences between the return to school safety guidelines from the Maine Department of Education and the Community Sports return to play guidelines established by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
Early this morning they got clarification from the MDOE that the guidelines for physical education courses is separate from interscholastic sports which are voluntary.
Shortly after the news, the MPA announced that they would make a final recommendation on the fall sports season no later than Thursday, August 27th. A meeting with the medical advisory board scheduled for August 26th.
Later in the afternoon after the announcement that the MPA would be making its final decision next week, the superintendent's in Cumberland and York County held an emergency meeting. For the third time this summer they agreed to postpone any in-person sports activities. The earliest a school in Cumberland and York county will be able to be in person is September 8th. The 8th is the anticipated start day for many schools across the state, and the first day of tryouts/practices for high school athletics. According to a tweet by Travis Lee of WMTW, the superintendents make the decision because they fear an outbreak prior to the school could delay the start of school and they are waiting for more guidance from the MPA.
While the superintendents in Cumberland/York counties have decided to delay, the rest of the state is following the MPA's phase 2 plan, which allows athletes and coaches to meet in person and conduct
The final news of the day came when the MDOE emailed school officials saying they could follow the Community Sports guidelines established by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development - and not the more stringent return-to-school guidelines established by the DOE according to an article in the Portland Press Herald
With the information coming in today based on the Community Sports guidelines, which youth and club teams have been following this summer it would appear XC would fall under the moderate risk sports.
Yesterday we conducted a poll on our twitter page about whether or not people thought the MPA fall sports season would be canceled.