The Maine Principals’ Association has reached a consensus with state officials on a fall sports season and will make an announcement Thursday, ending a process that has lasted months and seen the fall sports season delayed twice already.

The MPA met with representatives from the office of Gov. Janet Mills, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, the Maine School Superintendents Association and the Maine School Boards Association throughout the day Wednesday to bring the MPA’s fall sports guidelines into compliance with state COVID-19 safety guidelines.

At 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, the MPA sent out an email that stated:

“A meeting took place late this afternoon between the MPA, DHHS, MSSA, MSBA, DOE, and the Governor’s office.  Consensus on the guidelines has been reached with the exception of a few minor edits.  The finished documents will be finalized and shared with MPA member schools at some point tomorrow.”

High school sports in Maine have been shut down since April 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fall season, which originally was scheduled to begin on Aug. 17, is now slated to begin on Sept. 14 with fall tryouts.

On Aug. 26, the MPA’s Sports Medicine Committee recommended that all sports – including football, a high-risk activity, and volleyball, which is played indoors – be played this fall. A day later, the MPA’s Interscholastic Management Committee accepted that recommendation, and sent the MPA’s updated safety guidelines to the state for review.

On Sept. 1, state officials responded by saying the MPA failed to follow the state’s COVID-19 safety guidelines in several instances in its plan for the return of sports and recommended it delay the start of fall sports again to address those issues.

Since then, the MPA has been working with state officials to come to a consensus on what fall sports can be played, and under what safety guidelines.

Once that decision is announced, local school districts will still have the final say on whether to participate in the fall or not. So far, Camden Hills, RSU 24 (which includes Sumner Memorial High), North Haven and Vinalhaven have opted out of the fall season while Deer Isle-Stonington announced it would not play soccer, only golf and cross country.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 37 states have modified their fall seasons in response to the pandemic. In addition, 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, will not play tackle football this fall.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.