In case anyone is still wondering, you are not hearing the squeak of shoes accompanied by the thunk of basketballs hitting floor tiles, nor the thud of wrestlers bodies striking the mat, nor the thundering of dozens of pairs of feet pounding along hallway floors.

The start of practice for winter sports, scheduled to begin Monday, has been postponed. As has the scheduled Jan. 4 start of the winter sports season.

(Twenty days must pass between the start of practice and the start of the season.)

Yeah, it’s that dang pandemic again.

Baltimore County notified students and staff via robocall last week that a surge in COVID-19 infection rates has caused the start of practice to be postponed until further notice.

Online registration for athletics will continue, as well as any virtual athletic workouts in progress.

“Additional information will be provided to students and families as conditions permit,” the county posted in a statement on its website. “We are continuing to monitor health metrics along with our county medical partners and will share any plans to offer in-person opportunities when the health metrics allow us to do so.”

For athletics to begin, the health metrics must show two straight weeks of the infection rate being below five percent (it’s currently 7.9 percent).

Winter sports beginning this week was part of the MPSSAA Competitive Seasons Option 2. The last play date for the winer season is scheduled for Feb. 13.

Fall sports are scheduled to begin practice on Feb. 13, with the season beginning on March 5 and the last play date being April 17, while spring sports were to start practice on April 17, begin May 7 and end on June 19.

It has not yet been announced what impact postponing the winter season will have on the schedules for fall and spring season.

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