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Maine Principals' Association, State agencies release new fall sports guidelines

The new guidelines do not allow for tackle football, or indoor volleyball to be played this fall

AUGUSTA, Maine — On Thursday, the Maine Principals' Association, along with several state agencies, announced their 'Return to Competition for Competitive Athletics and Activities in Maine' plan.

These new guidelines generally align with the most recent Community Sports guidelines which were released on September 1.

The guidelines allow for golf and cross-country to be played between schools in any part of the state.

Field hockey and soccer teams will only be allowed to play in a regional schedule.

Volleyball and football can only compete in inter-squad competition, meaning schools will not be allowed to play each other.

“While these guidelines provide a strong foundation for how to safely play fall sports in Maine, we recognize that ultimately the final decision on sports will be made by local school districts based on their capacity for implementing the health and safety guidelines as applied to school sports – a decision and process that we wholeheartedly respect,” said Mike Burnham, Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association in a press release. 

“I am grateful to the MPA, the Maine School Superintendents Association, and the Maine School Boards Association for working closely and collaboratively with Commissioners Lambrew and Makin to align the school sports guidance,” said Governor Janet Mills in a press release. 

“As the parent to five now-grown daughters, I know how important school sports are in the life of children. At the same time, I also recognize how challenging it is for school administrators and teachers to undertake in-person learning with the threat of COVID lingering among us. With this guidance, these three organizations, along with my Administration, are working hard to welcome students back into the classroom and to allow for fall sports in a way that protects the health of students on the field and in the classroom and that safeguards teachers and staff and members of the larger community,” Mills continued.

The MPA is releasing sport-specific updates on its website. As of now the Golf and Cross Country seasons begin with practices on Sept 14 and competitions on September 25. As of now, no playoffs for soccer. Volleyball will be postponed until 2021. Here is the link

Read the full guidance below:

“We have always recognized the important role that school sports play in supporting the physical, social, and mental wellbeing of students across Maine,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Education Commissioner Pender Makin in a press release.

“As an extension of our educational programming, it is important both cocurricular and extra-curricular activities are offered in a manner that is safe and consistent with the DHHS-approved Community Sports guidelines," Eileen King, Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association in a release. "These activities, if offered under these guidelines, will help to promote the safety of all participants as well as the safety of the sponsoring schools.”