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Texas to play high school football on a staggered schedule in 2020

The Texas high school football season will not happen on time in 2020, but it will happen.

The University Interscholastic League, the governing body of public high schools in Texas, announced Tuesday that the season will be delayed by a few weeks in the state's four smallest classifications, and by more than a month in the two largest.

Conferences 4A through 1A may begin practice on Aug. 3 and games on Aug. 27 -- keeping the existing schedule as previously written -- while those in 5A and 6A must wait until Sept. 7 to begin practice and Sept. 24 to play games.

This staggered schedule will push the 5A and 6A state championships until January. The UIL state playoffs typically take place on the same schedule, culminating in 12 state championship games played at AT&T Stadium over the course of five days.

That will not happen in 2020, with the 5A and 6A Division I and II title games kicked to early 2021.

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The move became necessary when a number of larger districts -- most notably, Houston ISD -- announced they will begin the school year in an online-only format. Houston schools are not scheduled to open for in-person instruction until Oct. 19.

Earlier Tuesday, Tarrant County (Fort Worth) announced its schools will be closed to on-campus instruction until Sept. 28, putting Class 4A and below schools within the county in a limbo-like state of being allowed to practice football by the state governing body but forbidden by their county's health department. School districts in Dallas, El Paso, Austin and in the Rio Grande Valley have also delayed the start of in-person classes, largely tying the UIL's hands.

Texas is one of the last major dominoes to fall across the nation. California previously announced it will delay the season to the spring, Georgia will delay by two weeks, while Florida will begin as scheduled while differing school-by-school decisions to local authorities.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.