UIL clears way for changes to summer workouts, physicals

UIL clears way for changes to summer workouts, physicals
Groveton football players work out during the fall of 2019 (Source: KTRE Sports)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The University Interscholastic League’s Legislative Council held an emergency meeting Friday which cleared up some ongoing issues with COVID-19.

“Where we restrict access to kids and opportunities for our school staff to work with kids, we fully intend to relax those restrictions,” UIL deputy executive director Jamey Harrison said. “Give them some opportunity to make up for missed time, whenever it is that we can safely convene again and conduct workouts."

The first item taken up in the virtual meeting was to give more authority to executive director Charles Breithaupt in making decisions to UIL rules. The biggest thing that could change is time coaches and band directors could get in the summer. Coaches are allowed two hours per week of workouts for a specific sport on top of normal conditioning.

“I expect to see some significant alteration to coaching restrictions, specifically in the summer, and in the fall, as we move forward, allowing kids and coaches the opportunity to make up for as much of this missed time as they have, as we can offer," Harrison said.

The UIL also passed a proposal that looks to help healthcare professionals use their time with OCVID-19. Traditionally physicals are required for incoming 7th graders as well as students in 9th and 11th grades wishing to participate in UIL physical activities. That practice is being waived to just incoming 7th graders. If 9th or 11th grade athletes have a clean physical on record they will be allowed to move forward without one this upcoming year. If a 9th or 11th grade student will be participating for the first time they will be required to get a physical. According to Lufkin Athletic Todd Quick, an injury this past year could mean an athlete would have to get a physical to be cleared.

The UIL has yet to set a date on when activities can resume. For now coaches have been allowed to have team and position meetings on zoom with their athletes as they off up voluntary workouts.

“We are making plans for both the regular start of school and our activities and then if there’s a delayed start, what we might do,” Breithaupt said. “We’re also planning for what might happen if we start and have to stop again. God forbid that happens, but if it does, our staff is up to the task.”

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