Local student-athletes and academic UIL participants have a new target date for return to competition.
Initially, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) had suspended all UIL-sanctioned academic and athletic activities including competitions and practices until at least March 29 due to the threat of COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday, UIL issued an updated though incomplete timeline as to the resumption of activities.
According to the official UIL website, the earliest games and contests may resume now is Monday, May 4. However, no date has been established as to when teams and academic teams and groups may resume practices.
In regards to those practices, the release from UIL stated, “Prior to this date, the UIL will allow its member schools a reasonable acclimatization period for rehearsals and practices to occur. All decisions remain flexible and will be consistent with the advice of local, state and federal officials.”
The suspension of UIL-sanctioned activities began Monday and was scheduled to last roughly two weeks. The suspension not only prohibited competitions and practices, but also the use of school facilities, including practice fields, gyms and weight rooms, for student-athletes to conduct individual and independent practices.
This is not the first time Del Rio, or other school districts in Texas, had to make adjustments to their athletic schedule based on an outbreak. In Spring 2009, UIL suspended all interscholastic competition, academic or athletic, two weeks due to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus in Texas.
That suspension meant the rescheduling of baseball games that would affect district seeding and playoff pairings and the cancellation of regional track and field meets. The decision to cancel the regional meets was reversed a day later and instead pushed back the meets until mid-May with the state meet held in June.
Eventually, baseball and softball games were allowed to resume play a week earlier than expected.