Fall sports will be delayed until at least Sept. 14.
It could have been worse.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has pushed back the start of the fall sports season until Sept. 14 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I think by making this move, it gives us the best opportunity to have a sustained program,” Whitman-Hanson Regional High athletic director Bob Rodgers told WHDH 7 News’ Byron Barnett. “We could come back at the normal date and it could be very likely we’d be out again. It could have a domino affect. I’m pleased with the decision.”
Rodgers also noted the start date is for tryouts and practices, so games may be on hold until mid-October.
“I think we’re going to have a really workable plan,” Rodgers said. “It won’t be normal, it won’t be what we’ve always had. But let’s face it, this is an unprecedented time, nobody has ever gone though this before.”
“I think we’re probably going to shorten the regular season a bit and then there’s been some talks about whether we change the whole playoff format for a year. Maybe we keep it more regional. Maybe we keep it more district-oriented.”
In addition to a shortened season, Rodgers said he’s expecting some other changes, such as having to rely on parents for transportation to and from games, a limit of guests in attendance and likely no Friday night lights.
“There’s going to have to be some compromise,” he said.
Rodgers said he’s also expecting some bumps along the way.
“My biggest concern is the whole start, stop thing,” he said. “Once we get into this, there will be people that will test positive, and it’s a matter of ‘How do we address those positive tests?'”
Rodgers said his message to the athletes is to just stay positive.
“Stay confident that we’re going to make this happen,” Rodgers said. “If we keep these numbers down then we will have sports. We will have school. I think we have to keep doing what we’re doing.”