CAL leaders meet; will announce fall plans this week

Sep 9, 2020 by

Examining options based on other leagues

Published September 9, 2020

ELLA GIZMUNT and the Lynnfield volleyball team are awaiting a decision from the Cape Ann League regarding fall sports. Many leagues in surrounding areas are pushing indoor fall sports to the fall 2 season which will take place from Feb. 22 to April 25. (File Photo)

Principals and athletic directors from all 11 Cape Ann League schools had a joint meeting on Sept. 3 to further refine the guidelines, procedures and best practices for possibly moving forward with the Fall 1 sports season. The league will release more details in the coming weeks. 

As of press time this week, details of a potential schedule were not released. 

Many leagues in the surrounding area are opting to start their seasons with tryouts and practices on Sept. 18, the first official day of the fall sports season according to the MIAA. Many of those leagues are then opting to start games during the first week of October with most games scheduled to take place on Saturday’s. 

The Middlesex League for example, is playing a 10-game schedule. With six teams separated in two divisions, each team will play the other five teams in their division twice. The CAL could have each team play the other 10 teams in the league once for a 10-game schedule of their own. 

In the Middlesex League, indoor sports (volleyball and girls’ swimming) are being pushed to the floating fall 2 season which will take place from Feb. 22 to April 25. 

The league cited “facility concerns” with this decision, focusing on potential ventilation problems with many of the league’s older field houses and gyms. There are also concerns that schools may want to utilize gym space for extra classroom or cafeteria use to optimize social distancing. It is unclear whether the CAL will come to the same conclusion.

Some would like to see indoor sports attempted on a trial basis this fall if only for a test run for the winter season which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 30 according to the MIAA. 

The Northeastern Conference decided to postpone all of their fall sports to the fall 2 season. How the league is planning on playing outdoor sports like golf, soccer, field hockey and cross country during February and March is unknown. 

The Middlesex League’s 10-game schedule will be played during an eight-week schedule from Sept. 26 to Nov. 14 with games every Saturday and on Monday holidays Columbus Day and Veterans Day. Some additional details from that league include no bus transportation as parents are expected to drive student athletes to games, and no out of season coaching which the MIAA voted to allow in August. This means out of season teams like football who will play in the floating 2 season, can’t practice this fall. 

The CAL is no doubt considering all the options and in addition to monitoring the decisions of other leagues, will need to make decisions on an individual school committee basis before deciding the best way forward as a league. More details are expected to be announced later this week.

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