MIAA, Maryland’s largest boys private high school sports league, will begin shortened winter season Feb. 8

Spalding and Gilman boys basketball play in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association quarterfinal playoff game in February. The MIAA voted Monday to allow its 29 member high schools to begin an abbreviated schedule starting Feb. 8.

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Tuesday it will allow its 29 member high schools to begin an abbreviated winter sports season starting Feb. 8 through March 15. The Capital first reported the news.

The MIAA, which oversees boys sports at private schools throughout the Baltimore region, says basketball, ice hockey, squash, wrestling and swimming will compete under “league-issued” schedules for each school that is able to play by the end of the week, according to a release.


“Athletic administrators at member schools determined that providing the opportunity to play outweighed the need for postseason and championships during this condensed winter season. Maintaining appropriate health and safety protocols for all involved will remain as the top priority. The MIAA is hopeful that this opportunity will progress with little interruption from virus-related concerns,” the release said.

Unlike the MIAA, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, which oversees girls sports at 30 private schools, opted to play an “open season” in January and began play Monday.


The winter season will overlap with the spring season, which the MIAA plans to begin March 1.

In Anne Arundel, County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the lifting of restrictions starting last Friday as part of Executive Order 42, citing a “sharp, steady drop” in the coronavirus case rate in the county and Maryland. The order allows organized sports competitions in the county to resume Feb. 8. All participants must wear masks and a log must be kept of who’s coming in and out for contact tracing purposes.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools announced Tuesday it plans to conduct a full 14-week competitive spring sports season beginning March 15 and will resume fall sports in a hybrid format starting Feb. 16.

Carroll County Public Schools is the only local school system in Maryland currently conducting a high school sports season.

Archbishop Spalding boys basketball will begin workouts Wednesday. The Cavaliers battled from the cellar in 2018-19 to become serious MIAA A Conference contenders last year. The league did not announce any postseason plans Tuesday.

“Honestly, let’s just get through the season and see where it goes,” coach Josh Pratt said.

Nonetheless, Pratt doesn’t want to see his team’s progress stall, even though they’re starting during the time they’d normally be hitting their stride. Instead, he says they’ll pick up where they left off and will focus on making sure his seniors get good film so that they can play at the next level.

“They’re going to be excited just to see one another. Let’s start there,” Pratt said.


Mount Carmel athletic director Alex Brylske is “excited” for the opportunity for his program’s student-athletes to return to play. He cites the mental well-being of the participants as a driving factor behind athletic directors coalescing around a return to play.

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“You look at the net effect that this has had on adolescents and their mental health,” Brylske said. “Not having high school athletics to return, it’s really immeasurable with the profound effect that it has on the kids. We got a little taste of it in the fall with our athletes, but once everything shut down in December, the student-athletes were in a holding pattern.”

The St. Mary’s boys swimming team looked to continue its climb in the A Conference, which it joined last winter. The league is dividing the conference up for the sport, which means the Saints will only compete against Gilman and Spalding as far as MIAA meets go.

Nonetheless, coach Allyson Reiter is confident that her swimmers, led by reigning Capital Gazette Swimmer of the Year Patrick Hayburn, will improve this month.

“We earned our spot, and we wanted to continue to earn that. We’ll get a pass this year, but these kids are still talking about how to best compete for St. Mary’s. And that’s how the kids have impressed me,” Reiter said.

Baltimore Sun Media reporter Kyle J. Andrews contributed to this article.