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ACPS to Follow MPSSAA Guidance for Return to Extracurricular Activities

Spring Sports Model to begin September 21st


Allegany County Public Schools plans to return to extracurricular activities as the school system safely returns students to small group in-person learning. As part of the guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), ACPS must consult and collaborate with the Maryland Public Schools Secondary Athletic Association (MPSSAA) on any plans to return to play and/or practice.


Families, student athletes, and all those who wish to participate in extra curricular activities should note the following:


  • MPSSAA has suspended all sports until the second semester, which is currently set for February 1- June 19, 2021.
  • MPSSAA has allowed for a return to sports without competition (conditioning, weight-training similar to summer conditioning programs) in the first semester.
  • MPSSAA is planning for all three sports to be held consecutively, with limited competition, beginning after February 1, 2021.


Therefore, Allegany County Public Schools will follow a similar model beginning September 21st with spring sports, followed by fall and then winter. Each “season” will meet for approximately six weeks on the following timeline:


  • Spring Sports - September 21st through October 30th (6 weeks)
  • Fall Sports – November 2nd through December 11th (6 weeks)
  • Winter Sports – December 14th though January 22nd (6 weeks)


These dates are tentative and will be based upon changes or guidance issued by MPSSAA. ACPS must ensure that sessions will be limited to five days a week with no sessions on weekends. Coaches can do less than that in order to prepare, but are not permitted to do more. ACPS must also ensure that safety plans for practices will be in place, and the entire plan is approved by MPSSAA before implementation.


Spring sports include: Baseball, Softball, Outdoor Track and Field, Tennis, and Unified Track and Field


Fall sports include: Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Golf, Cross Country, Unified Tennis, Cheerleading, Dance Teams, and Band


Winter sports include: Basketball, Wrestling, Indoor Track and Field, Bowling, and Unified Bocce.


By following the detailed plan outlined above, ACPS will safely prepare student athletes for return to play. In addition, the school system will support and participate only in competitions that are sanctioned by the MPSSAA.


Coaches are permitted to work with students Monday - Friday (3:30 – 8 p.m.) with no access on weekends. Guidelines are listed below:

  1. According to MPSSAA guidelines, selection of teams cannot happen until the February 1st seasons begin; therefore, anyone interested in any sport must be allowed to participate during the Fall sessions.
  2. All practice/workout/conditioning/etc. must be voluntary and cannot be held against non-participants for competition beginning February 1st.
  3. Sessions may not begin before 3:30 p.m. and may not exceed two hours in length.
  4. Sports that are not “in season” during the identified time periods may not meet in any capacity. Meaning basketball teams may not have open gym during the fall spring and/or fall identified “seasons.”
  5. Teams may not participate in non-MPSSAA sanctioned competitions such as recreational or club leagues. This participation can result in becoming ineligible for MPSSAA competition beginning on February 1st. (See 80% rule clarification sheet)


Coaches may choose to re-engage students in a virtual setting as well, and a detailed plan will need to be submitted. Athletic Directors will be in communication with coaches regarding safety plans, scheduling, and protocols.


MPSSAA Two Semester Roadmap


Second Semester February 1, 2021, - June 19, 2021


  1. Fall, Winter, Spring Sport competition and championship seasons administered in modified formats.
  2. SEASON 1 - Sport Season Winter (8 weeks)
  3. February 1 - February 21, 2021 - Sport Season Practice and Reconditioning.
  4. February 22 - March 27, 2021 - Sport Competition Season.
  5. 5 - weeks of interscholastic athletic competition available.


  1. SEASON 2 - Sport Season Fall (8 weeks)
  2. March 15 - April 4, 2021 - Sport Season Practice and Reconditioning.
  3. April 5 - May 8, 2021 - Sport Competition Season.
  4. 5 - weeks of interscholastic athletic competition available.


  1. SEASON 3 - Sport Season Spring (8 weeks)
  2. April 26 - May 16, 2021 - Sport Season Practice and Reconditioning.
  3. May 17 - June 19, 2021 - Sport Competition Season.
  4. 5 - weeks of interscholastic athletic competition available.


Published 9/11/20