SALISBURY, Md.- Wicomico County Public Schools said Wednesday that the Maryland State Board of Education has voted to allow school systems to begin the winter interscholastic athletic season on Dec. 7, a date supported by nearly all Maryland school systems, including Wicomico.
Maryland’s winter sports practices are scheduled to begin Dec. 7, with competitions possibly beginning Jan. 4 and ending Feb. 13. Fall sports are scheduled to begin on Feb. 13, and conclude likely competitions on April 17. Spring sports are scheduled to begin April 17, and finish by June 19.
From Sept. 28-Oct. 30, Wicomico fall athletes have had the opportunity to participate in voluntary in-person conditioning. This opportunity will next be offered to Spring sport athletes, starting Nov. 2. Winter sports practices are scheduled to begin Dec. 7. The high school athletic directors, principals and coaches will communicate with students about the new dates for athletics.
With students engaged in virtual learning for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year, Wicomico’s interscholastic play was not scheduled to begin until Feb. 1, and would have had some overlap to give each sports season enough time for a shortened schedule. With a Dec. 7 start date for Winter sports, Wicomico and other Maryland school systems will be able to have three longer sports seasons without overlap.
A previous announcement from the state permitted school systems to begin athletics on Oct. 7, but Wicomico County Public Schools opted to focus on instruction and the return of students to classrooms as soon as and as safely as possible, while exploring other alternatives for a consistent statewide schedule for interscholastic athletics.
The school system’s Return to Play Plan will be revised to reflect this latest change in the schedule for winter, fall and spring sports. Like all school system activities, athletic schedules are subject to change if COVID-19 case numbers cause the closure of a school, school system or all Maryland public schools, as occurred last spring.
Wicomico will revise its Return to Play Plan to reflect the latest schedule changes and sport-specific guidance from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA).