NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The University Interscholastic League (UIL), which is the governing body for public school athletics in Texas, announced Tuesday that the beginning of the football season for larger schools is being pushed back nearly a month.

Class 6A and 5A schools won’t be allowed to begin practice until September 7. Practice had previously been slated for August 3.

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The delayed practice dates means the earliest season-opening game won’t be until Sep. 24, instead of the originally scheduled Aug. 27.

Keeping with the modified schedule, the UIL also pushed back the state championship games, which are normally held before Christmas, to a date to be determined in January.

The UIL actually split the state into two groups, but the schedule for the smaller group — consisting of Classes 1A-4A — remains unchanged.

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The smaller schools can begin practice as scheduled on Aug. 3 and begin their season beginning Aug. 27. State championships for those classes are still scheduled for December 16-19.

In a press release statement, UIL officials said, “This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule.”

As it stands, the UIL plan also allows for fan attendance, but at a maximum 50% capacity and that every spectator over the agoe of 10 wear a face covering.

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Keeping options for change open, the UIL said it will “continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications that may become necessary.”