High school football in February? It might happen

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The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s COVID-19 Task Force on Monday recommended adjusting the entire high school sports calendar and moving football to a season that would run from late February through late April, according to a report from the Boston Herald.

Monday’s meeting was with Jeffrey Riley, the commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, who could choose to adjust the recommendations before they are delivered to the MIAA board of directors on Wednesday.

Under the plan, the fall season would run from Sept. 14-Nov. 20, and it would be for soccer, fall gymnastics, cross country, field hockey, girls volleyball, swimming/diving (which some districts do in the fall, while others could continue to do in the winter) and golf.

The winter season would run from Nov. 30-Feb. 21 (ending a few weeks earlier than usual).

The new fourth season, for football, cheer and unified basketball, would run from Feb. 22-April 25.

The spring sports season would run from April 26-July 3, later than usual.

The plan also allows districts some flexibility to opt out of the fall season and move all fall sports to the new February-April season.

There likely will be no state championships, with games limited to regional opponents.

Monday’s news follows last week announcement by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which stated certain sports — football, basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, rugby, lacrosse and competitive cheer — are considered high-risk sports for the transmission of COVID-19. This is due to the nature of the sports, including repeated close physical contact.

There also has been some discussion about canceling all sports until January, then having three abbreviated seasons, starting with winter sports, then fall then spring.

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