HARWICH – Student athletes at Cape Cod Tech will have to wait a while for fall sports. All fall athletics have been postponed until February.
Athletic Director Alan Harrison said the decision to postpone to what’s being called the “Fall II” season, which runs from Feb. 22 to April 25, conforms the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s guidelines regarding COVID-19 and is also in keeping with Mayflower League decision to postpone all fall sports to February.
“The feeling right now is that sports are not in the best interest of those involved,” said Harrison, including players, coaches, officials, and fans.
The change means soccer, football, volleyball, golf, and cross-country will take place from the end of February to roughly the end of April, instead of this fall.
Unlike area fields, such as Monomoy and Nauset, which are fenced in, with their respective football fields being turf, Cape Tech’s fields are natural grass and are open, with no fencing, raising concerns about social distancing. The current MIAA requirement for spectators and non-essential people attending games is that they need to socially distance. Media will be required to cover games from a location away from the sidelines.
There were many challenges when considering a fall schedule, Harrison said, the first being the late start. Schools aren’t supposed to be in session until Sept. 14, with sports to start practices on Sept. 18, which means that in order to accommodate the rule that there must be 10 practice days before competitions can begin, first games would have taken place around the beginning of October, nearly a month after the traditional start of fall sports.
“That means we’d have four-plus weeks to play until daylight savings,” Harrison said. “At that point there couldn’t be too many 3:30 games due to a lack of light.”
Cape Tech does not have lights on any of its athletic fields.
Also taken into consideration was the fact that not every school is opting for the same return to learning, which made creating schedules difficult. Harrison said the postponement will make scheduling easier since it gives athletic directors time to plan.
“Fall II might be a little chilly but at least you won’t be worried about getting games in,” Harrison said. “I think people will look at the schedule and say, ‘This works.’ The league is in this together.”