Winter Athletics Update
December 30, 2020
Dear Uxbridge Community:
We hope this message finds everyone in good health and good spirit as we ready to turn our calendar from 2020 to 2021. It may seem hard to believe that a new year is already upon us, but we are all eager to move forward with the hope and possibilities that January always brings.
We realize that for the vast majority of our students and families that this announcement will be trivial and insignificant, but for those who have been awaiting decisions regarding winter sports, the following message is quite important. The decisions regarding the start of the winter season could also have subsequent implications for the “fall two” season that is scheduled for March and early April, as well as what we hope will be a spring season come later this year. Considering all that has gone into these preparations, we appreciate your patience and understanding.
- First, Uxbridge High School will be supporting basketball this winter season. In the past several weeks, some of our Southern Worcester County League member schools have made the decision to move forward with some form of season as well, while others have cancelled altogether. While we cannot comment specifically on the decision-making process that occurs in other communities, nor would it be appropriate to do so, we know that some of the decisions of other communities have a ripple effect on our own processes and schedules. That said, we believe that the operational guidance provided by the MIAA, when combined with our own operational protocols and procedures, will enable our winter season to begin on Monday, January 4.
- We will have, at minimum, varsity and junior varsity schedules. We are working, now that we have an idea of who within our league is supporting a season, on defining a third-level schedule for boys basketball, but that may not be possible from an interscholastic standpoint. We also have other options should a full schedule not be possible.
- There are many operational details for practices and games that will require strict adherence:
- Locker rooms will not be available for game and practice times.
- All student-athletes will be required to “sign into” practice using the QR code form at the gymnasium. This will serve both attendance and symptom checks.
- No spectators are permitted in the gym for practice or games.
- Roster sizes are being capped at 12 per team. This was a league decision based on EEA and Sports Medicine committee recommendations.
- There is the strong possibility that UHS will only have five or six opponents in the winter, with that number subject to change.
- No games will start until at least January 15. Currently, we are working on schedules that will enable boys and girls teams to play the same schools at opposite sites. (For example, if our boys were hosting Northbridge, our girls would be at Northbridge). There will be no more than five total events (games + practices) scheduled each week, and game times will be set at 3:30 (or 3:45 p.m.) for junior varsity and 5:15 (or 5:30 p.m.) for varsity. Our games will be livestreamed, and game times have been adjusted to allow for sanitizing to occur in facilities after the game, before classes resume the following day, in some cases.
- Each week, we will communicate with the administrations of the schools we are due to play, to ensure that the game(s) can be played safely, provided that there has been no evidence or contact with COVID-19 on the respective roster(s).
- Should any game be cancelled due to COVID-19 or subsequent contact tracing, there will not likely be a makeup game rescheduled.
We realize that some of the information above could be disappointing, particularly regarding spectators. We truly hope that both families and student-athletes reconcile that disappointment with the joy that comes from the opportunity to play. While there is no way for us to satisfy the many interests out there, given the number of variables, protocols, safety considerations, and concerns that needed to be addressed, we hope to host safe and successful opportunities for our student-athletes to participate in the sports they love.
We wish everyone in our community all the best for a happy, healthy, and safe new year!
Michael Rubin, Principal
Chris Carbone, Athletic Director
Uxbridge High School