PITTSFIELD, MA (NEWS10) — The Pittsfield Public Schools Athletic Department said in order to ensure student safety, Pittsfield Public Schools will be suspending all interscholastic athletic programming until November 30.
Recently stakeholders associated with educational athletics, released guidelines, recommendations, and potential options related to opportunities for high school athletes to participate in sports for the 2020-2021 school year. These stakeholders include the Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education (DESE), the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
The guidelines and recommendations give insight into how student athletes can safely participate in sports with consideration towards several operational, logistical, and facility challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to postpone sports will reportedly provide a framework that plans to offer Fall, Winter, and Spring sports from late November 2020 through July 2021. Sports will be conducted in a modified manner with traditional “fall sports” expected to be “floated” into a late winter/spring 2021 season, to ensure that student athletes are given the opportunity to play the sports they are passionate about in a safe setting.
Pittsfield Public Schools said they support the idea of a modified traditional athletic season for student athletes by creating a “floating season” for traditional fall sports, which would reportedly take place in late February to early May in 2020-2021. The proposed athletic season structures being considered, and supported by the Pittsfield Public Schools, include:
- “Fall Sports I” (SUSPENDED) Mid August To Early November: Football, Soccer, XC Running, Volleyball, Golf
- “Winter Sports” Approx. Late November To Late February: Basketball, Alpine Ski, Wrestling, Swimming, Ice Hockey
- “Fall Sports II” (“Floating Season”) Approx. Late February To Early May: Football, Soccer, XC Running, Volleyball, Golf
- “Spring Sports” Approx. Early May To Mid July: Baseball, Softball, Tennis, Track & Field, Lacrosse
Pittsfield Public Schools said that at this time, this is the anticipated plan they will follow. However these planned scenarios are subject to change given the current health, educational, and athletic circumstances as a result of the pandemic.
The Pittsfield Public Schools, City of Pittsfield, and MIAA said they will continue to work diligently to plan for quality student-athletic experiences that culminate with athletic activities and competitions in 2020-2021.
In the meantime, the Pittsfield Public Schools position regarding the status of local athletic activities involving participants that are enrolled as students in the Pittsfield Public Schools, remains the same as it has been this summer. This includes:
- The Pittsfield Public Schools, The City of Pittsfield, and The MIAA, do not in any way sanction, encourage, condone, or supervise “Captain’s Practices”
- Use of school grounds (indoor and outdoor facilities) for any group athletic activities directly related to the Pittsfield Public Schools, or a team representing the Pittsfield Public Schools, continues to be prohibited until further notice during the suspended fall season
- Participation in any informal workouts, skill-building sessions, andor practices is a parentalpersonalfamily decision
- Any, and all, efforts allocated by high school coaches, to duties associated with organizing athletic activities, is purely voluntary during the suspended fall season (including conditioning, skillsdrills, practices, etc.).
- High school coaches are prohibited from organizing, or participating in, athletic activities on school grounds that are directly related to our interscholastic athletic programs
- The Pittsfield Public Schools have no formal affiliation, or supervisory role, associated with local recreational leagues, community youth athletic programming, AAU sports, andor travel teams – including those that may seek approval for use of local athletic facilities and fields via the City of Pittsfield Parks Department.
The Department said that for as difficult a decision as it is to postpone school sports, it is in the best interest of students, the district, athletic teams, and the community to make sure everyone stays safe during this time.