Well, this should be interesting.
The MPSSAA, in an announcement on Monday that pretty much everyone with an interest saw coming, has officially postponed the 2020 Fall and Winter sports seasons for the first semester.
Interesting choice of words, however. I must admit, I expected the MPSSAA to use the word “cancelled,” not postponed. Being postponed just means a delayed start, but the event is still expected to be held.
Sure, enough, in the second paragraph of the statement, comes this little piece of verbiage:
“The MPSSAA, the MDH, and the PSSAM will continue to collaborate on finalizing a hybrid two-semester plan focused on student engagement options in the first semester and modified competition seasons for all sports during the second semester.”
Translated, I take this to mean: athletes can perhaps do conditioning, drills and maybe some organized practices in the first semester, then we’ll squeeze in reduced seasons for all sports in the second semester.
(Wish the MPSSAA would stop using lawyers to write their press releases. Still, an improvement over “The availability of member schools to re-engage student-athletes in outdoor participation. Furthermore — The re-engagement of students for the mental, physical and social-emotional well-being, is extremely important.”)
The MPSSAA has not yet released a plan for how these “modified competition seasons” will work. One is expected to be introduced before September.
Which means: speculation time!
My first thought, which I’ve shared with friends, pictured football, soccer, volleyball, badminton, cross country, golf, indoor track, wrestling, basketball, softball, baseball, lacrosse, track and field and tennis all being held at the same time in a glorious smorgasbord of sports making me a very busy man.
There’s two problem with that scenario I envisioned: one, it’s highly doubtful our local schools have enough athletes to cover all those sports simultaneously, not to mention it forcing many athletes to make tough decisions as to which sport they’ll play.
Two: It’s a ridiculous scenario no one is contemplating at all.
(Well, except for the NJCAA, which has moved its fall season to the spring, meaning CCBC Essex soccer players who play baseball or lacrosse will have to make a decision.)
More likely, he plan will be similar to what they’re doing in Virginia: a winter season from Dec. 14 to Feb. 20; a fall season from Feb. 15 to May 1; and a spring season from April 12 to June 26.
Problem for Maryland is, it can’t start until the beginning of February, and the spring season ends on Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31 this school year).
Which is probably where the “Modified” comes in. I wouldn’t count on the full nine-game football schedule.
At least, this leaves open the hope the Class of 2021 won’t lose their senior sports seasons completely, like the Class of 2020 spring athletes.
And if I can just make it to the end of winter without doing anything ... rash (a BIG if), then there’s still a chance to cover some high school football.
Chances of me doing something rash/foolhardy/inadvisable are tied to how much college and professional football is available this fall.
Meanwhile, I’m trying very hard not to consider the pandemic still not abating by 2021 and the sports seasons being cancelled.
Because if so, we’ll probably be too busy dealing with the apocalyptic collapse of civilization to even care.