Athletics

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) issues guidance for all Massachusetts public school districts regarding athletics. DESE guidelines pertaining to Interscholastic Athletics for the 2020-21 school year were released in August 2020 and approved by the MIAA Board of Directors. 

MIAA guidance on Winter Sports - updated November 20, 2020

APS Winter Sports - updated November 23, 2020

Winter Tryout Information:  

The Winter Sport season will start on Monday, December 14th.  The sports that will be offered are Boys & Girls Basketball, Gymnastics, Boys & Girls Ice Hockey, Boys & Girls Ski and Boys Swim & Dive.  The tryout schedule will be sent out after Thanksgiving.

Fall II Sport Information:

The Indoor Track season has been moved to Fall II along with Cheerleading, Football, Girls’ Swim & Dive and Unified Basketball.  That season will start on Monday, February 22, 2021. 

Spring Sports Information:

The Wrestling and Winter Cheerleading seasons have been moved to Spring along with the traditional spring sports.   That season will start on Monday, April 26, 2021.

Registration:

Online registration:  Please register at https://andover-ar.rschooltoday.com/ 

  • If your student’s ID begins with 00 and you are having trouble registering them try taking out the 00 from the beginning of their ID number.
  • Freshmen will not need to put in an ID number
  • Registration Help Line is 800-893-0914 or email support@rschooltoday.com

Payment of the Athletic Fee:  The fee will NOT be collected until we start the winter season.  There will be an email  sent from the athletic department at that time with the payment information.

Physical Form:  An up to date physical form needs to be turned in to the nurse’s office to be able to participate or tryout for sports.  All questions on physicals should be emailed to the nurses.  There are several ways that you can get your forms to us: upload it to the registration site or email it to:  Heidi.chaff@andoverma.us or joanne.gibson@andoverma.us


Fall Sports - updated October 1, 2020

Athletics is an important experience for our students and for our school communities as a whole.  As such, we are committed to providing opportunities for our student-athletes to participate in interscholastic competitions.  However, we must also balance this commitment with our highest priority of keeping our students, staff, and community safe during the current health crisis.   

Each Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) releases their Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report.  In the release of last evening’s report, five MVC communities were newly identified this week as “red” on the state’s community-level data map, bringing the total to six MVC communities (representing 7 of the 11 MVC schools).

While DESE guidance indicates that we should not make decisions about educational learning models until we examine multiple weeks of data, this recent increase of cases gives us pause for concern in regard to interscholastic competitions as they mix cohorts of students from multiple communities.  Simply put, we want to proceed cautiously in order to not put our students, their families, or our communities at higher risk until we know more about the trajectory of the virus in this area.

As such, we have jointly agreed that we take the following actions:

  • For sports designated as low risk by DESE and MIAA, where students from opposing schools do not physically interact, interscholastic competitions can currently proceed as scheduled.
    1. This includes cross country and golf
  • For sports designated as moderate risk by DESE and MIAA, all interscholastic competitions scheduled for this week will be postponed until later in the fall season, and we will reassess after next Wednesday’s weekly report is published.
    1. This includes field hockey, soccer, and volleyball
    2. Options include moving forward with a season with modified schedules, or postponing at this time until the “Fall II” season
  • For sports designated as high risk, the seasons have already been moved to the “Fall II” season later in the year.
    1. This includes competitive cheer, football, and unified basketball
    2. Swimming/diving was also moved to Fall II

We are hopeful that we will be able to continue to have interscholastic competitions among our member schools this fall, and we urge the members of our communities to practice proper health protocols (mask wearing, physical distancing, etc.) so that our student-athletes can have the opportunity to compete.

Sincerely,

Sheldon Berman, Superintendent, Andover Public Schools

Timothy Piwowar, Superintendent, Billerica Public Schools

Jay Lang, Superintendent, Chelmsford Public Schools

Steven Stone, Superintendent, Dracut Public Schools

Joel D. Boyd, Superintendent, Lowell Public Schools

Brandi Kwong, Superintendent, Methuen Public Schools 

Gregg Gilligan, Superintendent, North Andover Public Schools

Chris Malone, Superintendent, Tewksbury Public Schools

Fall Sports- Updated September 15, 2020

DESE guidelines categorizes Football and Competitive Cheerleading as high-risk sports and will be moved to a “Fall II” season with a tentative start date of February 22, 2021.

The Merrimack Valley Conference and its member schools look forward to beginning the Fall I season while safely offering our student-athletes the following sports: Boys and Girls Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Boys and Girls Soccer and Volleyball. As a result of the lack of facility availability to a number of member schools, the MVC has made the difficult decision to postpone the Fall I Girls Swimming and Diving season to Fall II. 

At this time, the Fall II season will include Unified Basketball, Competitive Cheerleading, Football and Girls Swimming and Diving. Each school is currently working to provide safe and healthy opportunities for their student-athletes. Any questions regarding this decision or the Fall I season in the MVC, should be directed to the member school’s athletic director.

To adhere to DESE/ MIAA regulations, we expect to see a difference in the way the game is played by athletes, where games are held and how they are scheduled. The earliest date to begin any tryouts or practices is Friday, September 18, 2020 with games beginning no sooner than October 2, 2020. The fall season will be abbreviated to end on November 14, 2020, per MIAA and DESE regulations. 

There is still a lot of work to be accomplished before a fall 2020 sports season is permitted as the Merrimack Valley Conference (MVC) league athletic directors work to implement fall sports within all of the guidelines.  

Athletics are an important part of our students’ high school experience. Our goal is to provide all of our student-athletes a safe opportunity to participate in their individual sports. If you chose the remote academy for your child, they will be eligible to participate in their sports. 

The health and safety of our student-athletes is paramount in any and all of these decisions which are forthcoming. 

*This information was posted on September 15, 2020 and will updated as needed.