Photo via the MIAA website.

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, the two largest private school athletic conferences in Maryland, have postponed the start of fall athletics indefinitely.

In a joint statement on the MIAA website, the two conferences announced in the postponements. The conferences will reassess the situation in mid-October to make a decision about sports for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Read the statement, below:

“In response to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and with the health, safety and well-being of our member-school campus and athletic communities being paramount, the members of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM) have voted to postpone all fall athletic competitions and championships. This postponement applies to the MIAA and IAAM sponsored sports and impacts cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. On behalf of our member schools, the MIAA and IAAM Board of Governors will reconvene in mid-October to evaluate the public health crisis and manage competitive options for the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year.

Guided by the commitment to preserve and sustain the student-athlete experience as a core component of the educational mission, the MIAA and IAAM have researched numerous options to develop policies and protocols that would support a safe return to play progression this fall prior to making this decision. Ultimately, the persistence of the virus and the potential for exposure among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, support staff, fans and local communities, coupled with the need to safely reopen campuses this fall, made it impossible to execute a return to competition at this time without undue risk.

To enhance the experience for all student-athletes, opportunities for strength and conditioning and sport-specific opportunities may be made available at each member school’s discretion in adherence with local and state health and safety guidelines. Member schools are not permitted to participate in scrimmages or competitive play until further notice.”

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), which governs the state’s public school athletic programs, postponed the start of fall and winter sports earlier this summer.