Winter Sports in High Schools around the US and World

Winter Sports in High Schools around the US and World

This is the Information we have received from coaches   It is quoted from specific coaches and if something is in-correct please email me at steve@teachhoops.com or reach out via social media (Twitter: @coachcollinsjmm; Facebook group–coaching basketball Click here)


The Alabama High School Athletic Association has approved its Return to Play “Best Practices” guidelines for winter sports


starts January 11 (it appears) and will end in late March. Not sure yet on fans and the use of masks may or may not be in play for athletes!


Practice for winter season sports had begun on Nov. 9 for the counties, districts and schools that met metrics to allow for a permissible start, the AIA said. Those schools can continue to practice until further notice, the AIA said.

With surging COVID-19 metrics again hitting the state, Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Director David Hines recommended to the Executive Board on Monday that high school winter sports competition be delayed until sometime in January.


Limited spectators, no in season tournaments, if a conference game is missed due to COVID reasons and can’t be made up the game isn’t counted/penalized, for either school. Conferences have choice on a district tournament and how it’ll be played, our conference will probably travel to the higher seeded team.


Dates shifted, yes, but sports are also played at a different time. For example, boys volleyball is usually a spring sport, but it has moved to the same time as girls volleyball during the “fall sports” that will begin mid December through mid February. Girls tennis is usually a fall sport and it is moved back to the “spring sports” at the same time as boys tennis beginning at the end of February through early May.

They have shifted from 3 seasons (fall, winter, spring) down to 2. So there are a lot of sports happening at the same time that do not share seasons. Makes it difficult for multi sport athletes that have 2 of their favorite sports happening at the same time. Basketball and baseball/softball as an example.

The state of California has always had an 18 hour rule during the week. Games/meets/matches count as 3 hours towards that number, even if a cross country meet only takes 20 minutes, it counts for 3 hours. Plus the practice time during the week. If you play one sport a season, that is very reasonable. There will be more people trying to play 2 sports at the same time instead of making a tough decision. That 18 hour rule will be pushed big time in that case. In addition, the 18 hour rule also states you cannot double up on sports on back to back days.

Delayed Start until March


Season moved back to start January. Shortened season (14 games). As of right now, play with masks, no spectators


postponed at the moment after a spike. Prior was playing a shortened season and area teams.  CT has announced we are postponed until January 19.


Have not found much looks like they are playing


is playing every county is different tho. My county (orange) is doing covid testing every few weeks. And we have several in game changes when it comes to covid. Like no jump ball to start game, sanitized ball every timeout, come to game in uniform, etc.  Fl is county to county even though you don’t have them as missing. Most counties are pretty normal. Ours unfortunately is not 1 of those. We can only play in county. We could play a tourney vs out of county teams though as long as the games were at a private school in our county.


is Playing


Hawaii has  a tentative date of Jan 4….. we still have no protocol or policy


Is Playing


As of now, Illinois is leaving it up to the local school districts. The governor wanted it moved till spring but the IHSA is not following that guidance. Illinois is currently in limbo (at least my school is). Governor and IDPH both have said basketball is high risk and the season is postponed. IHSA has said the season will commence on schedule. Some have opted out, some are saying they’ll play.  Illinois – Health Department says NO to basketball. IHSA- sports association says we are going to ignore you and play. Most schools have announced they will not play due to insurance liability issues. Insurance companies cannot support a school knowingly going against expert health advice.
IHSA sent a survey to delay the season. They meet on 11/11/20 to discuss. Practices scheduled to start next Monday 11/16. Very few schools have committed to participate.


Playing. Coaches wearing masks, limited tickets for family pending on school, players are playing on (no masks) at the middle school level in


We are currently as normal. Some conferences are limiting fans but as far as the top goes they have only submitted recommendations.


Here is KS, we have some limitations on crowd size depending on the school (most everything is decided local) and we are not having jump balls this year to start the game, instead visiting team will start with a side out.


Kentucky High School Athletic Association votes to delay hoops, other winter sports until Jan. 4


Seem be to playing/ No masks for players


Under the announced schedule, teams in all winter sports except for wrestling may conduct “skills and drills” practices beginning Dec. 7, with more formal preseason practices and intrasquad scrimmages scheduled to start Dec. 14.


MPSSAA in MD granted permission to begin winter sports as early as Dec 7. (First day of tryouts. MD requires 20 days of practice before competition.) However Anne Arundel County where I am just suspended indefinitely all indoor and outdoor workouts, practices and training due to a surge in cases locally. Dev 7 is now up in the air. The original plan a month ago was a 2nd semester winter sports season starting in early February.


MA… still being negotiated. Youth basketball not happening as of now.


I’m in Michigan and our players have to wear masks at all times, even while playing. Coaches, fans, and refs will be masked too. No more than 2 spectators per player/coach, no locker room use for practice, no jump balls for games. Michigan is playing but has instituted a ton of restrictions/rules. Refs can’t the ball. No jump ball. Coin flip if game goes into OT. Have to play with masks on. Etc.


18 games instead of 26 for the regular season. Section play offs, the state tournament is undetermined as yet. Two family members per player can attend. This could change as COVID-19 numbers are rising.


Seems to be playing


Missouri is playing and pretty much like nothing happened. Looking like our bench is going to be 6 feet away from each other


Delayed start of 1 month. Reduced spectators based on county health recommendations. Games start Jan 2


Nebraska currently: 25% capacity, limited to house hold members only effective till Nov 30. Masks worn by all except those on floor. No pregame or post game hand shakes. Masks on bus rides. Athletes responsible for their own water bottle during games.


Do not seem to be playing

New Hampshire 

A tentative start to competition is set for Jan. 11, 2021.

New Jersey

As of now NJ is playing. Shortened season. Players are supposed to wear face covering while on bench. Not sure how that will work/be addressed. No fans at all. NJ: 14 regular season games. 1 scrimmage. Down from 25ish and 4. Home and Home with the same opponent each week. Limited state playoffs.

New Mexico

NM no sports at all happening In The state. New Mexico tentative start date Jan. 4th 2021 with 18 game schedule

New York 

We have confirmed with state officials that low & moderate risk winter sports may begin play on Nov. 30. We continue to examine opportunities for high-risk sports to be played with strict risk minimization efforts in place. At this time, high-risk sports are not authorized. New York recently got moved to January 4th

North Carolina

North Dakota is playing a full season at this point. Masks during games and practices just came down for volleyball so I expect it is coming for winter sports. We have been doing open gyms with masks.

North Dakota

Winter High School Sports & Activities Suspended in North Dakota Until December 14


The Ohio High School Athletic Association reaffirmed its plans Wednesday to move ahead with winter sports as scheduled, notifying athletic directors across the state while providing results of a recent survey.


Is playing.   Oklahoma we put signs up to wear masks, and social distance but games are packed like sardines and no masks. Game un changed


winter seasons slated with our athletic association, OSAA, to start December 28th with a short 7-week season. However our governor says no full contact sports which basketball has been designated, until OR phase 3 which is a long ways off… a reliable COVID treatment or vaccine is required. Oregon reduced games from 24 to 14. Season from 14 weeks to 9. Pushed start back by 6 weeks.


PA is starting basketball on time on Nov 20 with full schedules planned.  Many schools are starting to shut down

Rhode Island

Season shortened from 17 to 10 games then playoffs.
Possibly Varsity only no JV , Max roster 15 but only 12 dress for games. Games played on Saturdays. 2 spectators per player no student fans. All players will wear masks even while playing

All subject to change

South Carolina

limit number of fans … follow protocols as far as distance on bench, players/coaches wear mask while on bench… HSL has recommended playing same opponent back to back (Tues/Fri), tournaments pretty much have been canceled… recommending coming dressed to games, limit use of locker rooms.. have several basketballs for use during games…

South Dakota

South Dakota is starting as normal. Fan limits are on school to school basis.




Game limit of 27, no tournaments. Only one game allowed during school week. —-Nov 10 Texas, 1st game today, must wear a mask while playing and on the bench. No fans allowed in the gym


Gov tonight declares a state of emergency effective tomorrow due to rising Covid cases and limited hospital space. Late-night order includes a statewide mask mandate and orders people to restrict casual social gatherings to family only. No youth or high school sports


A tentative start to competition is set for Jan. 11, 2021. Vermont, practice start 11/30, games begin 1/11/21. Right now no spectators.


At this point VA is starting winter sports on Dec. 7th with a condensed season and championship bracket.  For public schools, high schools are slated to start practicing in a couple of weeks, cutting season by about 25% of games, no spectators in the gym. I’m a middle school coach, and we are not slated to start practicing until January, have cut about 20% of the games, and only 1 parent per kid in the gym (no siblings)


No fall sports in WA State; we are supposed to start basketball on 12/28/20. Currently practicing; only 5 players and 1 coach per practice.

West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order on Friday morning that the high school winter sports season will postponed until Jan. 11 at the earliest.


Dane County is not playing. The WIAA is going on with a season….Yes we are doing wrestling and winter sports when our state is on fire.  Our State Association has done NOTHING to push for a later start or second season.


The WHSAA has not pushed back the start date for any winter sports


Countries around the World

Japan. Back to Normal

Ontario, Canada (a province, not a state) is currently not playing winter sports

In Italy all youth basketball is suspended. Only the first two male and female championship are playing

England is in a lockdown until early December so just about all competitive matches put back to a January 2021 start.

Sydney, Australia – we have been playing since July (on and off). No masks but at times no spectators. All change rooms are closed so you need to turn up in your gear. Players must sanitise hands as they sub in and out as well as out of timeouts and breaks between quarters/halves. Now each player is allowed one spectator to any indoor sport but spectators must remain socially distanced. Seems to have worked well so far.

Teach Hoops

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The BEST Basketball Coaching Podcasts

The BEST Basketball Coaching Podcasts

The Best Basketball Coaching Podcasts

I LOOK for podcast that not only inspire me, but also are inspirational, interesting and very entertaining.

Where can you find the best basketball coaching podcasts

I have always loved listening to podcast and especially podcasts that would help my basketball coaching

Look no further…every basketball coaching podcast you need is listed here

Some of the podcasts will be X’s and O’s others might talk about the psychological part of the game….

I like to listen to podcasts while I’m in the car, mowing the lawn or walking my dogs around he neighborhood. They’re perfect to fit into your day at any point when you are doing a task that doesn’t require your full attention….which during the Covid process is most of the time!

These are in no specific order…..

1. Elevated.(Click Here)

This is a new podcast but is by Drew Maddux and Virgil Herring and they discuss the extreme importance of mindset as it relates to sports, business and everything in between. They have a great book by the same name GET IT HERE

2. Basketball Coach Unplugged.(Click Here)

This is a shameless plug for my own podcast, but I am really proud of it and it comes out 5 days a week. It is a mixture of Coaching tips, interviews, Drills, X’s and O’s and everything in between. This Podcast will discuss basketball coaching with Coach Steve Collins. Coach Collins will do this with interviews and on topic discussions. (Discussion will revolve around basketball topics such as: Offense, Defense, Motivation, Team Building, Youth Basketball, High School Basketball, college basketball and much more…) We will publish weekly shows at 6:00 am….. Please check out our site if you like our podcast.

3. Coaching U Podcast (Click Here)

This podcast is an extension of the Coaching U education and training program. Coach Brendan Suhr moves the lessons off of the court and into your earbuds with interviews of coaches on their career journeys, coaching philosophies and challenges they have overcome. Weekly podcast featuring the best coaches in the world hosted by 2-Time NBA World Champion, Brendan Suhr.Each episode Coach Suhr and his guests give you insight into some of the best and newest trends, techniques, philosophies and lessons from not only the game of basketball; but also in leadership, culture, professional development and life.

4. High School Hoops: (Click Here)

A Discussion all about being and coaching Basketball at the High School Level Scrimmage, Preparation, Practice Planning, Parents, Getting your Players to Play Hard, and everything in betweenMUCH MORE….

5. Conversations With Coach George Raveling (Click Here)

Coach Raveling is considered by most as the godfather of college basketball coaching. On his podcast, Coach Raveling shares lessons for personal and professional growth through his conversations with other coaches. This is truly a hidden gem that I found several years ago…

6. 1 Question Leadership Podcast ( Click Here) 

The 1.Question Leadership Podcast is designed to highlight executive and organizational leadership with a heavy emphasis on college athletics. 1.Question is primarily hosted by @TaiMBrown, but features occasional guest hosts.

7. No Stupid Questions(Click here)

Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth have spent years exploring the weird and wonderful ways in which humans behave — Dubner as the host of Freakonomics Radio, Duckworth as a research psychologist and author of Grit. They both like to ask a lot of questions, and have come to believe there’s really no such thing as a stupid one. With No Stupid Questions, they put this belief to the test, with conversations ranging from friendship and parenting to immortality and whether dogs are better than people. The resulting podcast is incisive, humane, and occasionally charming. New episodes each week. No Stupid Questions is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network.

8.  The 5 Minute Basketball Coaching Podcast(Click Here)

It is a short looking into coaching basketball and basketball drills, plays, practices, tips and much more.

9.  Hidden Gem ( No Pun Intended) IDAHO BASKETBALL Coaching (Click Here)

Interviews about coaching high school basketball in the Gem State. If you are a high school basketball coach and would like to talk hoops, send a DM on Twitter or email at Idahobasketballcoachingpodcast@gmail.com.


10. Positive University Podcast with Jon Gordon. ( Click HERE) Positive inspiration and encouragement to help you overcome your challenges and make a greater impact! Hosted by bestselling author, Jon Gordon

Books by Jon Gordon. The Garden. Energy Bus Staying Positive

Bonus;  Here are some Bonus Basketball Coaching Podcasts and a few that are just fun.

Coaching Culture The podcast for leaders in athletics. Sharing practical ideas on how to build character and leadership with a like-minded community.

Teacher Side Gig Do you have a side gig? I have colleagues who drive for Lyft/Uber, work in the service industry, clean houses and businesses, run online businesses, drive trucks, and work in all sorts of other industries during the Summer AND school year. Some have even left teaching because their other job pays more and provides better benefits.

Greatest Game Podcast
The Greatest Games Podcast. Our intention is to create a light and fun environment where we can just talk hoops, and hopefully offer some wisdom to young coaches and seasoned coaches alike about some of the lessons we have learned along the way. We really appreciate you coming by.

A Pen and a Napkin:  Great interviews and inspiration to take you on this great journey of coaching


FIND all of these podcasts at teachhoops.com

Basketball Tryout

Basketball Tryout Form

Interview with Coach Jim Boone

2018 Defending Low Post & Ball Screens (1)



Books           Bo’s Lasting Lessons by Bo Schembechler and John Bacon

A Season with Coach Dick Bennett by Eric Ferris

7 Know Your Knows


1)   No Paint

2)   No Baseline

3)   No Direct Drives

4)   No Rhythm Threes

5)   No Fast Break Lay-ups

6)   No Second Shots

7)   No Fouls


Three Program Anchors


1)   Sureness – Take Care of the Ball

2)   Work to Get Great Shots

We say Pass up a Good Shot to Get a Great Shot

3)   Great Team Defense


It’s all about creating a Defensive Culture

This starts with Recruiting Character First


Culture Pillars:        Hard Work





Thanks so much, let me know if you need additional information.


Jim Boone

Head Basketball Coach

University of Arkansas Fort Smith

OT:   479-788-7592

Cell: 479-755-7349



Twitter: @CoachJimBoone




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