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How Changes In HS Sports Schedules Affect Rugby In Every State

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How Changes In HS Sports Schedules Affect Rugby In Every State

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What high school sports governing bodies do about fall sports will have a direct effect on what happens with rugby, even though only one state, Massachusetts, runs a competition under the official auspices of its scholastic athletic association.

As it stands, several states have said they plan to go forward with some semblance of a fall schedule, but that of course could change if the COVID-19 infection rates go up, especially if they go up in the schools themselves.

This has already happened in some states, only for a few to go back to normal.

Below is where we think states are with their sports, with special emphasis on football, because football is usually the most influential sport in high school athletics, and also because football often chases the same athletes as rugby (among boys). There is no real corollary for girls, with soccer, basketball, wrestling, track, and cheerleading all being sports that produce rugby players.

Our sources include local news outlets, various HS sports associations, plus a very information piece by Jeff Fisher at High School Football America which goes into more detail and which we encourage you to read.

As it is, it seems pretty clear that states where high school football is really important, or states that haven't had real COVID problems are probably going to start fall sports as normal. Some states are taking drastic measures, such as moving football to the spring. That move will likely make recruiting very difficult for many rugby teams, as a high percentage of high school rugby players also play football. 

It will be interesting to see whether rugby teams in those areas actually benefit from the competition. Moving football to the fall also potentially opens up an opportunity, if only for touch rugby, to expose football players to the game, if local rules allow.

Fall Sports On Track To Start As Normal

Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland (still work to do), Michigan (despite pressure from the governor), Missouri (still work to do), Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas Public Schools (except certain city divisions, which are delayed), Utah, Wyoming

No Official Changes Yet, But ...

Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts (MIAA seems to be going ahead, but it's hard to imagine they won't hit a roadblock),Minnesota, Ohio (optimistic but warned there could be changes), 

Fall Practice and Season Delayed a Couple of Weeks

Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, New York (may be more than a couple), North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee (could be a bigger change), Texas Private Schools, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Major Changes, Moves, Or Cancelations

California (football moved to winter). Louisiana (schools are not close to where they need to be according to the HS Athletic Association). Nevada (football moved to spring). New Jersey (no football until October). New Mexico (football in the spring). Oregon (football on hold). Virginia (low-risk sports switched to fall and high-risk to spring OR high-risk fall sports just not played, OR delay everything until December). Washington (football starts in March), DC (football moved to spring),