The two governing bodies for most Maryland private school sports, including those at Frederick’s St. John’s Catholic Prep, have pushed back their start dates for the winter season in response to the surging number of COVID-19 cases across the state.

The Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland announced it will start its girls competition on Feb. 1, and the season will run through March 13.

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association plans to open competition for its boys winter sports season on Feb. 22 after two weeks of practice, according to a story in The Capital Gazette.

St. John’s offers boys and girls basketball, wrestling and cheerleading this winter. However, neither league will offer indoor track, due to the closure of most venues where track events are held.

Out-of-season workouts will be permitted by both leagues ahead of the winter seasons, starting Jan. 19.

The MIAA plans to sanction league play this winter for any schools that want to participate, per the Capital story. That was not the case in the fall, when member schools scheduled games independently.

The IAAM Board is scheduled to meet on Jan. 11 to further discuss its plans for the winter, including whether it will have league play or have schools schedule contests independently, like it did for the abbreviated fall season.

“Our goal remains the same for our winter season, as it was for our fall season; to create and promote opportunities for our student-athletes,” the IAAM said in its online update. “That said, we are aware of local jurisdiction constraints and restrictions on athletics and gatherings. Further, we will continue to monitor local jurisdiction plans to possibly extend their current restrictions.”

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