Field Conditions

Field conditions such as these at Patapsco High caused the first day of “Fall” sports practice to be held indoors or in virtual sessions.

The much-belated, much-anticipated Fall sports season was to make its debut on Saturday, only to be upstaged as Winter reminded everyone just what season is actually in session.

Baltimore County cancelled all outdoor sports activities on Saturday in advance of a “wintry mix” forecast of snow showers, sleet and freezing rain.

Teams were allowed to meet for virtual practice sessions and meetings.

That is critical, because virtual practice sessions count towards the “20-day rule:” which requires 20 practice days before athletes may compete in regular-season games.

Feb. 13 is exactly 20 days from March 5, when the fall season is scheduled to begin with a slate of football games.

For that reason, the virtual practices on Saturday for football are mandatory for all players.

Soccer has a little more leeway. It’s first games aren’t until March 9. Volleyball also opens on March 9, field hockey on March 8.

The outlook for the rest of the week isn’t much better, with snow and freezing rain forecast for Monday night into Tuesday. More snow is forecast for Thursday and Friday.

Most teams did manage to get a practice in on Monday.

Fall sports had been postponed from, well, the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Baltimore County Board of Education passed a motion last month directing the Fall sports season to begin an abbreviated, six-week schedule with practices starting on Feb. 13 and games on March 5.

The motion was assisted by an executive order from County Executive John Olszewski Jr. directing high school and rec sports to begin, under specified health and safety guidelines, in February.

The winter sports season in Baltimore County, which also had been postponed, has been cancelled.

An abbreviated spring sports season is scheduled to begin after the fall season concludes in April.

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