Hello Trojan Athletics community,
I hope this email finds you and your families safe, healthy, and doing well. TVS Athletics is excited and anxious to get the 2020 fall season underway! I'm sure many of you who are interested in TVS Athletics have been wondering what is going to happen with sports this coming fall. I have been working diligently with our school health personnel, coaches, and administration team members in developing responsible and safe return-to-play procedures for our athletes and coaches. While further discussions remain, my goal is to provide you with a few details to help you understand where we are currently and to get you started for the anticipated fall season.
Just as there are varying start dates for in-person instruction across the state, the same can be said for athletics. As a member of the Southwest Preparatory Conference, TVS and member schools decided last week competition would start the week of September 8 for upper- and middle-school contests. However, because of the Dallas County Health order, our SPC counterparts in Dallas County cannot begin strength and conditioning workouts or practices of any kind on campus until September 8. Thus, their first competition dates will begin no earlier than the following week. The same is also true for the SPC schools in Austin.
Oklahoma and Houston SPC schools are under a different set of health recommendations and can begin practicing beginning on August 3 but cannot play until September 8. Furthermore, some of the non-conference school members we play in TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) and UIL (University Interscholastic League) have their own return-to-play start dates. As you can see, nothing is "normal" or consistent across the state about the start of fall sports.
That being said, with the recent announcement by the Tarrant County Health Department regarding in-person instruction, we have made adjustments to what would be our "normal" athletic start date. Per recommended guidelines from the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), return to play for athletics should be done in stages/phases due to COVID-19. TVS Athletics has developed our specific return-to-play safety protocols using NFHS and CDC guidelines that will be distributed to all coaches, families, and athletes prior to the start of the season. Below are the dates of our return-to-play phases, which all take place outdoors, for Upper School athletes interested in playing fall sports:
- August 17 (phase I) – Strength and conditioning
- August 24 (phase II) – Individual skill work and drills per team (no contact, no scrimmages)
- Next date TBD (phase III) – Full practices and scrimmages
- Practice times have yet to be determined. This, along with other pertinent information, will be shared at a later date.
In keeping with the Tarrant County Health order, school-sponsored activities (such as sports) may occur outdoors provided students wear face coverings with social distancing requirements of a minimum of six feet until September 28. To maintain the six-foot minimum distance, regular full interactive practices (phase III) are not permissible at this time. Therefore, we will remain in phase II until September 28. As Ms. Lowry mentions in her letter, we are working to receive clarification on how and when we may be able to begin full sport specific practices. As things currently stand, our first contests would be no sooner than October 1.
In keeping with the Tarrant County order, we are currently planning that MS coaches will have the option to begin the following dates:
- September 1 or September 8 (phase I) – Strength and conditioning
- Followed by the next week (phase II) of individual skill work and drills per team (no contact, no scrimmages)
- September 28th (phase III) – Full practices allowed (tentative)
- October 1 or 2 – First day of eligible game play
While I'm certain this note has not addressed all the questions you may have, please accept this as a starting point for preparation and know more information will follow soon. Topics such as practice times, locker rooms, weight room, transportation, game schedules and more will be addressed in the coming weeks. I ask for your patience as we continue to discuss remaining, and sometimes ever-changing, details.
We thank you for your continued support of not only Athletics, but of the entire TVS faculty and staff as all continue to work hard to make this a remarkable school year. We look forward to having athletics back on the TVS campus and cheering on our athletes.
Director of Athletics