Maryland’s MPSSAA postpones sports through first semester

Liz Beavers
Frankfort and Fort Hill square off in JV football in a game last season.  Both Frankfort and Keyser play a significant amount of games against Maryland opponents in Allegany and Garrett counties, and will now have to scramble to make up for those lost matchups on their schedules.Tribune photo by Chapin Jewell

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

On Monday, Aug. 2, Maryland’s Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), the sanctioning body for Maryland high school sports, announced that all fall and winter sports would be postponed through the first semester.

According to the memo, “The Maryland Public Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) in consultation with the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland (PSSAM) has decided to postpone the 2020 high school fall and winter competition season during the first semester.”

The memo goes on to add, “The decision comes in light of the recent announcements of local school systems to begin education virtually and provides each school system with options for the gradual increase of student education for the physical and social-emotional health of students.”

The MPSSA advises that they, along with the MDH and PSSAM, “Will continue to collaborate on finalizing a hybrid two-semester plan focused on student engagement options in the first semester and modified competition seasons for all sports during the second semester.”

Details on the hybrid two-semester plan will be made available prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. Essentially, Maryland is looking to adopt a similar plan to that of the State of Virginia which announced they will play all sports in a condensed fashion in three separate seasons beginning in December.

This announcement has a major impact on sports scheduling for Keyser, Frankfort and obviously Mountain Ridge high schools in the fall and winter session. Mountain Ridge is postponed entirely until what is hoped to be the second semester. Keyser and Frankfort are now left to scramble to adapt to significant holes in their schedule as Mineral County’s status as a border county with Maryland means that both schools’ schedules contain a significant number of games against Maryland opponents.