We know there are many questions regarding this Fall Sports “In-Person” Return to Athletics. Here are a few of the most Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
What is the timeline for the start of sports?
Registration will open on January 29th. While the Fall “season” will begin on February 13th, MCPS will enter into a phase of educating stakeholders at that time, as we prepare for potential in-person operations. A preliminary framework of operations will be created and a confirmed operations plan will be provided by February 23, 2021. The fall season, per the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) calendar, runs from February 13 through April 17, 2021 (the start date for the MCPS fall season is February 27, 2021).
What is the MCPS policy on participation by coaches and/or students in in-person activities?
In-person programming will be optional for coaches and student-athletes. As a result, program offerings will be school and team-specific, depending on the selection of coaches and the interest of student-athletes. Program operations will be confirmed in the coming weeks, as schools finalize their options and registrations are received from student-athletes.
Does this mean we will definitely start in-person activities?
All in-person programming and activities would only be conducted in alignment with guidelines and protocols designated by the COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics. Such guidelines are included in the Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan, and comply with guidelines and recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), and Montgomery County.
Will we have contests and games?
It is important to note that in-person programming will begin with conditioning and skills-based practices/tryouts, which must occur for a minimum of 20 calendar days (starting with the first practice) prior to any contests or competition, per MPSSAA regulations. Competition and contests will only occur with the approved recommendations of the COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics. Activities will be conducted in-person to the extent possible throughout the semester.
What if a coach opts not to return to in-person activities?
As stated above, in-person participation is optional for all coaches (and students). If a coach opts not to participate in in-person activities, the school will offer virtual activities during the season. Students who register for a sport that is not being offered in-person will be contacted by February 23, 2021.
What if a student wants to participate, but the student and the parent/guardian do not opt for in-person activities?
Richard Montgomery will only offer virtual activities if the coach opts not to participate in-person. For coaching staffs that have more than one coach, it is possible that Rockville will offer both in-person and virtual activities, if all of the coaches do not opt to participate in-person.
What adjustments will be made to operations based on COVID-19?
The following resources are available for students and parents/guardians regarding the operations of the MCPS athletics program. All documents, information, and guidance are subject to change, based on the ever-changing dynamics of COVID-19.
- Second Semester Plan – provides an overview of the second semester of operations
- Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan – provides the operating procedures and protocol that will be used during the fall season. This is a fluid document and will be updated, as guidelines and recommendations change.
- Return to R.A.I.S.E. Video – this video provides an overview of the protocol and procedures in the Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan. The video was filmed in late-October–guidelines and procedures may change, per state and local recommendations.
- COVID-19 Athletics Information Webpage – all information regarding the return of in-person programming is available here; updates will continue to be posted on this site.