EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The University Interscholastic League (UIL) made headlines on Tuesday when they announced a delay to the fall sports schedule in Class 5A-6A. However, the UIL also set the high school basketball calendar.
The calendar itself goes relatively unchanged. Games will begin on Nov. 6 for the girls and on Nov. 13 for the boys. The UIL is allowing a maximum of 27 regular season games to be scheduled with the Bi-District playoffs tipping-off on Feb. 11 for the girls and a week later for the boys.
The biggest takeaway from the calendar: no tournaments. UIL sanctioned schools will not be permitted to play in or host any tournaments in 2020-21 in order to limit travel and traffic in high school gyms due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas.
“Being able to travel out of town and see other styles of basketball is what we’ll miss,” said Coronado girls basketball head coach Eric Weaver. “It’s other urgencies, other styles of basketball, other groups of officiating, and being able to adjust to those things. It’s becoming more comfortable with out of town competition so that when you do get to the playoffs, that’s not unfamiliar territory.”
“Not only are you going out of town to play against other competition outside of El Paso — it’s also a team bonding experience,” said Eastwood boys basketball head coach Peter Morales.
Most high school basketball programs in El Paso started summer workouts in June, only to have them suspended in July. While Tuesday’s announcement by the UIL has the basketball community excited, there is also those who are proceeding with cautious optimism during the uncertainty of the pandemic.