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MPA announces schools in 'yellow' counties can play winter sports if administrations allow

The color-coding system will be used as an advisory to in-person learning but will no longer apply to school-based activities.

MAINE, USA — The Maine Principals' Association (MPA) announced Wednesday that schools in yellow designated counties can now participate in winter sports if the local administration allows.  

In a memo Wednesday, the school listed the following changes:

  1. Winter Sports-Green Counties – We would like to begin by recognizing the work that has been done by those schools that are currently practicing and playing. The effort that each school has made to follow the established guidelines and to take the necessary steps to keep kids and coaches safe has been remarkable and you are to be commended on your work!
  1. Winter Sports-Yellow Counties – We all know the key role that education-based activities play in the physical and emotional well-being of our students. We as associations promote any opportunity that we can to find ways to engage kids in these school-based programs, especially when we know that many of them are struggling with their remote learning. When looking at these activities it is important to note that vocal and instrumental music, as well as other performing arts activities, must be included in these conversations. All these activities play an integral role in the lives of many of our children.

A change has been made regarding the color coding currently being used by schools. The color-coding system will be used as an advisory to in-person learning but will no longer apply to school-based activities.

If it is deemed safe to do so by administration, teams may begin practicing, following established sport-specific return to play guidelines. Students have been inactive for a long while, so each school must establish an acclimatization period in which athletes recondition before playing in competitive games. 

The MPA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee feels this decision would be best left up to the individual schools to develop their reconditioning plan rather than recommending a mandatory 5 or 10 day period.

At the last meeting of the MPA Cheerleading Committee, the dates of the virtual cheer championships were modified. Because many schools have not yet had an opportunity to begin their season the following dates were established:

  • Thursday, March 18 Cheer Videos Submitted
  • Saturday, March 20 Cheer Routines Judged
  • Saturday, March 27 Virtual Cheer Championships Live-Streamed

The final details on the submission of the videos will be sent to all cheer schools soon.

The MPA Classification Committee met on December 9, 2020 and January 20, 2021 to establish sport classification for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. The committee is using April 1, 2020 enrollments provided by the Maine Department of Education and are having discussions about the impact that the Covid-19 Pandemic has on school enrollments.

The committee also set a philosophy to not make major changes this cycle with all the uncertainty, but some enrollments have changed, so there will be some movement. The committee understands that each individual sport committee has been working diligently to develop Return to Play plans and protocols.

This year the Classification Committee made recommendations to the individual sport committees through that sport’s chairperson and encouraged them to meet with their committee to formalize a recommendation. The Classification Committee has received nine (9) recommendations so far and approved those recommendations on January 20, 2021. The committee will meet again on March 10, 2021 to review the remaining sport proposals. Once completed there will be an appeal process and the approved recommendations will then go to the Interscholastic Management Committee for their approval. The final vote will take place by the MPA member schools at the MPA Spring Conference.

Each spring sport committee will be meeting over the next few weeks to establish guidelines for the upcoming season. Acknowledging that these programs lost an entire season last spring, these activities will be given top consideration.

Also: the MPA’s Classification Committee has received nine recommendations from individual sport committees. The final reclassification recommendations, if approved by other committees, will be voted on by member schools this spring. “There will be movement,” the memo states.