AUSTIN, Texas — The winter storm which slammed Texas will force changes to the UIL basketball playoff schedule.
Tuesday night, UIL executive director Charles Breithaupt sent athletic directors a memo addressing coming changes to the UIL calendar forced by the snow and ice storm which hit the state, including the basketball playoffs.
The UIL basketball playoffs were scheduled to begin last Thursday, Feb. 11th, however many games were postponed due to weather causing unsafe travel conditions.
Among the games postponed were all of District 12-6A's bi-district games in the girls bracket:
- Temple vs. Cedar Hill
- Harker Heights vs. Mansfield
- Ellison vs. Duncanville
- Shoemaker vs. DeSoto
"UIL will be extending all basketball certification deadlines for both girls basketball playoff rounds, and boys district certification and early playoff rounds," the memo read in part. "Until we know more about when travel conditions will improve across the state, we cannot announce the extent of those deadline extensions."
The UIL's communications team sent 6 Sports the full basketball portion of the memo:
"Travel conditions continue to be dangerous in many parts of the state. UIL will be extending all basketball certification deadlines for both girls basketball playoff rounds, and boys district certification and early playoff rounds. Until we know more about when travel conditions will improve across the state, we cannot announce the extent of those deadline extensions.
"For girls basketball, a number of bi-district playoff games have not yet been played, and many area round games will also not be played by the original deadline. We have developed a number of options to address a variety of scenarios. However, we cannot announce any final plans until we have more information about weather and travel conditions. Any plan we announce will provide an opportunity for all games to be played. We have no plans to resolve playoff rounds via coin flip, or to have any school forfeit a playoff round due to weather and travel conditions. If your school is able to play, please complete rounds as possible. Schools who play games beyond the original certification deadline will see abbreviated schedules to complete subsequent rounds. The safety and well-being of all participants is a top priority, and we ask schools to make decisions with that in mind, never compromising student safety.
"For boys basketball, we ask District Executive Committee (DEC) chairs to certify district standings and playoff representatives as soon as possible. The district certification deadline has been extended to Saturday, February 20, 2021. If your DEC has already certified playoff representatives and you are able to play your bi-district round, please do so if possible. Schools who play beyond the original certification deadlines will have abbreviated schedules to complete subsequent rounds. Once more information about improvements for weather and travel conditions is available, we will announce revised certification deadlines for playoff rounds."
The previous high school girls basketball calendar was set to end with the state championship games being played at the Alamodome in San Antonio March 5th and 6th:
- Feb. 11-13 - Bi-District
- Feb. 15-16 - Area
- Feb. 18-20 - Regional Quarterfinals
- Feb. 22-23 - Regional Semifinals
- Feb. 26-27 - Regional Finals
- March 1-2 - State Semifinals
- March 5-6 - State Championship Games
The original boys basketball calendar was scheduled to culminate in the state championship game being played March 12th and 13th at the Alamodome in San Antonio:
- Feb. 16th - District Certification
- Feb. 18-20 - Bi-District
- Feb. 22-23 - Area
- Feb. 25-27 - Regional Quarterfinals
- March 1-2 - Regional Semifinals
- March 4-6 - Regional Finals
- March 8-9 - State Semifinals
- March 12-13 - State Championship Games
The COVID-19 pandemic had previously forced significant changes to the UIL basketball guidelines for the 2020-21 season, canceling tournaments. That included the regional tournaments in the playoffs, which normally consist of a region's two semifinals being played in a double-header with the regional final at the same gym the next day, and the state semifinals being moved from the Alamodome to a neutral site agreed upon by participating schools.