By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – The University Interscholastic League (UIL) has released new guidelines for eligibility in extracurricular activities and these guidelines have a lot of coaches and administrators shaking their heads.
On the UIL website, the first paragraph under the COVID-19 Athletics Information heading states: “This is a fluid situation and additional information will come should further changes take place. Please contact your DEC (District Executive Committee) first if you have specific scheduling questions. The UIL athletic staff will also be readily available for contact at any time.”
In other words, things are changing at a rapid pace – every day – and right now, we don’t know exactly what we are going to be able to do.
Concerning eligibility, the UIL stated, “As schools prepare for a variety of learning options for the coming school year, UIL is providing the following information related to those options and UIL student eligibility.”
If students are participating in remote learning offered by their school district, whether synchronous or asynchronous (as defined by TEA), may participate in UIL activities if they meet all other UIL eligibility requirements.Students must be enrolled in remote learning options through the school the student will represent.
According to the TEA, “Synchronous is described as live, interactive classes with students and teachers participating real-time, teacher supported work time on video conference calls and scheduled and timed online tests. Asynchronous is described as self-paced online courses with intermittent teach instruction, preassigned work with and prerecorded instruction videos with guided support.”
The UIL also encouraged schools to “… develop grading policies for remote learning options that outline the criteria for determining if a student is passing all courses at the end of grading and evaluation periods.”
In addition, during “… the 2020-2021 school year, UIL eligibility requirements for the first six weeks of school have been modified to allow a student to be eligible for the first six weeks if they accumulated at least two and a half credits since the start of the 2019-2020 school year.”
These guidelines are all open to interpretation. School starts in just over a month. The governor said on Friday he may well have to shut the state down once again and the UIL offers up this gobbledygook?
The UIL has always stood for fair play and has tried to maintain a level playing field but right now, they don’t seem to be sure on what field they’re playing.
No wonder the UIL said this is a fluid situation.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.