Texas schools may begin hosting sports workouts, band practices June 8

The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)

The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)

Student-athletes and musicians in grades seven through 12 will soon be able to return to campus for practice.

Independent school districts across Texas will be allowed to hold strength-and-conditioning workouts and band practices starting June 8, according to a May 22 press release from the University Interscholastic League, the sanctioning body for academic, athletic and arts competitions in Texas middle and high schools.

The UIL released separate criteria for student-athletes and marching bands. Individual ISDs will ultimately decide whether to start practices, according to the UIL.

“We are cautiously optimistic about beginning summer strength and conditioning programs and marching band practices that safely allow students to get back to working with their coaches and directors in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in a press release. “We must do so carefully, deliberately and with an understanding that major adjustments are needed to ensure safety.”

The student-athlete programs, which include strength, conditioning and “sport specific” workouts, and band practices will be allowed to take place on school campuses.


The UIL recommends that ISDs “follow all local and state requirements” and stay abreast of local coronavirus concerns by frequenting the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard.

“Students and staff must self-screen every day for COVID-19 symptoms for themselves and family members,” the UIL said in a statement. “Schools should consider taking the temperature of each student each day at the start of the session, if possible.”

No sharing of food or water is allowed, according to UIL, and students should remain with the same group each day “to minimize the number of students and staff that must isolate if a case is confirmed.” Access to showers and locker rooms is not allowed.

For sports-related activities, schools are required to have at least one staff member per 20 students “to ensure appropriate social distancing, hygiene and safety measures are implemented.”

Although there is no required ratio of staff to students, band member groups must not exceed 15.

Attending workouts and practices should be optional, but “attendance records shall be kept,” according to UIL.
By Brian Perdue
Brian Perdue is the editor of the Lake Travis-Westlake and Northwest Austin editions of Community Impact Newspaper. A native of Virginia's Appalachian Mountains, he has been a journalist since 1992, living and working in Virginia, Washington D.C., Hawaii's Big Island, Southern California and Florida before moving to Austin in 2019.


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