There will be no football or volleyball played at Maine high schools this fall.

The Maine Principals' Association announced Thursday it will not sponsor tackle football or volleyball seasons in the fall in an effort to adhere to state guidelines designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Instead, the MPA will attempt to try sponsor a season for those two sports in the late winter or early spring.

The MPA, the governor's office and state agencies worked over the past weeks to arrive at a consensus about how and when interscholastic sports could be played. The revised guidelines were released Thursday.

“I appreciate the support of the Mills Administration as we revised this guidance to ensure that it is in line with all of Maine’s health and safety measures and that it protects students, their families, their peers, and their communities at large,” said Mike Burnham, Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association.

“While these guidelines provide a strong foundation for how to safely play fall sports in Maine, we recognize that ultimately the final decision on sports will be made by local school districts based on their capacity for implementing the health and safety guidelines as applied to school sports – a decision and process that we wholeheartedly respect,” he continued.

While the MPA will not sponsor tackle football in the fall, schools may provide a 7 vs. 7 flag or touch football program this fall.  Additionally, it could be possible for students to have an outdoor volleyball season in the fall, MPA officials said.

The plan does allow for cross-country, golf, field hockey and soccer so long as safety protocols are followed.

Here are some other notes about the revised plan for interscholastic athletics.

  • No inside practices are to be held this fall. Should there be inclement weather, teams may not move inside for a practice.
  • All athletes, other than those involved in the game, coaches, officials, staff, and spectators must always wear a mask.  This includes officials wearing a mask during the contest.
  • Should a county be designated yellow or red, there should be no practices or games held until which time they are designated green. (York County currently is the only county designated yellow. All others are green.)
  • Attendance at sporting events must be limited to 100 people for outdoor events and 50 people for indoor events. (That includes participants, officials, coaches and fans.)
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