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High schools that choose to offer virtual classes will be allowed to participate in all athletics and activities during the 2020-21 school year, the Missouri State High School Activities Association announced Wednesday afternoon.

MSHSAA had previously announced schools must offer in-person classes to allow its athletic teams to participate this school year.

The Jefferson City School District included a virtual option in its re-entry plan for the fall semester, but is planning on beginning in-person classes Aug. 24.

Superintendent Larry Linthacum did note the plan could change at any time based on local health conditions.

Helias High School plans on conducting in-person classes, but Principal Kenya Fuemmeler wrote in the re-entry plan the school could switch to online classes if needed.

Blair Oaks and Calvary Lutheran have a similar strategy, beginning the fall semester in person with the option to switch to a hybrid model or completely online if COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the community.

Other announcements MSHSAA made Wednesday:

  •  Two-team jamborees will be permitted. In July, the Missouri Football Coaches Association announced a recommendation to cancel all jamborees.
  • The requirement of teams having to participate in at least half of the regular season to be eligible for the postseason will be waived for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Class and district assignments for fall sports will be announced Sept. 18 instead of Aug. 21 to allow schools time to notify MSHSAA a certain team won't be participating in the postseason. Schools have until Sept. 11 to announce if a team won't be participating in the postseason. Any team that declines to participate in the postseason will not be placed in a class or district.

The first day of fall practices is scheduled to be Aug. 10 with the first competitions scheduled to be held Aug. 28.

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