The Latest from UIL

UIL Schools Will Play for State Championships

TABC received word that the UIL plans to complete the district schedules, finish all playoff games and crown a state champion in all six classes in both girls and boys basketball. Please watch the UIL and TABC websites for more details as they become available.

We are excited for the opportunity to move forward with basketball in the state of Texas for the 2020-21 school year, and we wanted to give you a quick update specific to the 2020-21 basketball season. There will be challenges from time to time throughout the year, but we are confident in our schools and our school leaders that we can make this season a success. Below is information pertaining to UIL updates for the upcoming season along with essential information pertaining to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Information

  • COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year can be found at this link
  • We have also posted a specific basketball calendar with additional information  concerning the 2020-21 basketball season on the UIL Basketball web page. LINK HERE

Season Reminders Concerning 2020-21 Basketball Regulations

  • Allowable game limit – 27 games
  • 2 scrimmages – no more than 4 schools may meet for scrimmage purposes at one site. For sites that are used to having multiple groups of 4 at a scrimmage fest, that is not allowed for the 2021 basketball season.
  • 3 games may be played in a calendar week. If school is in session, the 2nd and 3rd game must be played after the end of the school week.
  • No tournaments or showcases, including regional tournament.
  • Face coverings do not have to be worn while actively competing on the court. Face coverings must be worn by all team personnel (coaches, managers, players not in the match) while on the bench or not actively participating in the game or warm-ups.

New: School Week Limitation Exception – UIL varsity district contests postponed because of COVID-19 reasons may be rescheduled and played as exceptions to the school week limit as noted in state regulations, as long as they are rescheduled and played on a date agreed upon by the two schools involved in the contest, or on a date as determined by the District Executive Committee, if the two schools cannot agree.

2020-2021 Basketball Important Dates

October 21 – Girls practice starts
October 31 – Girls scrimmages allowed (max 2)
November 6 – Girls interschool games

October 28 – Boys practice start
November 7 – Boys scrimmages allowed (max 2)
November 13 – Boys interschool games
February 16 – BOYS DISTRICT CERTIFICATION – 17 weeks

2020-2021 NFHS Rules Recommendations

  • Pregame Protocol (2019-2020 NFHS Officials Manual, page 16, 1.8; NFHS Basketball Rule Book – 3-4-5)
    • Limit attendees to the referee and the head coach from each team with each coach standing on the center circle on each side of the division line.
    • All individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet or greater at the center circle.
    • Suspend handshakes prior to and following the Pregame Conference
  • Team Benches (1-13-1)
    • Social distancing should be practiced when possible. Below are some suggestions.
      • Limit the number of bench personnel to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.
      • Place team benches opposite the spectator seating.
      • Additional chairs or rows may be added to allow bench personnel to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.
      • Create separation between the team bench and spectator seating behind the bench.
      • Limit contact between players when substituting.
      • Personnel not in the game should adhere to any required local/state face covering requirements.
    • Officials Table (2-1-3)
      • The host should sanitize the table before the game and at half time.
      • Place officials table sufficiently away from the sideline to allow for additional space for substitutes.
      • Limit seats at the table to essential personnel which includes home team scorer and timer with a recommended distance of 6 feet or greater between individuals. Other personnel (visiting scorer, statisticians, media, etc.) may not be deemed essential personnel and consider an alternate location for them.
        • Table personnel should adhere to any required local/state face covering requirements
    • Pre and Post Game Ceremony
      • Suspend the pregame introduction handshakes.
      • Suspend post game protocol of shaking hands.
    • Basketball Rules Interpretations
      • Basketball
        • Ball given to officials in the locker room, where it is sanitized as recommended by the ball manufacturer and not used for warm-ups.
        • The host school should ensure the ball is sanitized during time-outs and between quarters.
        • Sanitizer should be provided by the host team at the table.
      • Cloth face coverings are permissible for players.
      • Consider requiring coaching staff and other bench personnel to wear face coverings while on the bench.
    • Rule 5-3 Officials Uniform and Equipment
      • By state association adoption, long-sleeved shirts are permissible. (5-1-3)
      • Officials should not be required to wear jackets during pre-game court/player observation.
      • Electronic whists are permissible (supplies are limited).
        • Choose a whistle whose tone will carry inside.
        • Check the market for choices.
      • Cloth face coverings are permissible.
      • Gloves are permissible.
    • Other Considerations
    • Throw-in
      • Official may stand 6 feet or greater away from player making the throw-in and bounce the ball to that player on a front court throw-in.
    • Free Throw Administration
      • The lead official shall stand on the end line and bounce the ball to the free thrower.

When School is In-Session – Practice outside the school day, excluding holidays, is limited to a maximum of eight hours per school week, per activity. The in-school athletic period does not count towards the allotted 8 hours, but any time used in connection with a practice that is not part of the athletic period counts as part of the 8 hours (dress, mandatory weights, meetings, etc.).

Scrimmage – A scrimmage is a meeting of no more than four teams for practice purposes, which does not count as a game (allowable contest) for any of the teams. No more than 4 schools (all teams for school) may meet for scrimmaging purposes.

Basketball teams are limited to a maximum of two total scrimmages and may play them prior to playing their first interschool game. Only one scrimmage is permitted between Monday and the end of the school day on the last instructional day of the school week.

Allowable Games

  • 0 Tournaments and 27 Games or

Weekly Allowable Contests – Since no tournaments are allowed to be played during the 2020-21 season, teams will be able to play 3 matched games during the calendar week for this season only. The stat law limiting school week participation must be followed, (i.e. one contest Monday through Thursday night with the second and third contest after school Friday or Saturday).

Doubleheader – (Same Site, Same Night) – A student could play two back-to-back varsity games (sam competition level) or in a varsity and junior varsity game (different competition levels), at the same site, the same night. For 2020-21 only this counts as two of the allowable three games per calendar week and counts as two of the total games allowed for the season.

Max Number of Games Per Day – Teams or contestants may participate in no more than two interschool games per day.

Miscellaneous Basketball Information

NFHS Rule Changes – The 2020-21 NFHS basketball rule changes are available at

MaxPreps – Please begin utilizing MaxPreps when your season begins as this is required for all playoff matches. For more information, see To create an account, please go to MaxPreps.

NEW Ball – The Spalding TF1000 Legacy ball will be the UIL official ball at the 2021 State Basketball Tournament this year.

Athletic Manuals – All sport manuals are posted online. Please download these and read them. These manuals have all information pertaining to basketball from pre-season to post-season as well as basketball rule changes that are in effect for this year. We modified these to be user-friendly and easy to read, so please take advantage of these available resources.

Best of luck to you and your team in the 2020-21 season. Please know that the UIL Athletic staff is here to serve you, do not hesitate to contact Brandy Belk at or 512-635-6634 or Joseph Garmon at or 361-244-0497 or any other athletic staff member if there is ever anything we can do for you.

Thank you,

Susan Elza, Ed.D.
UIL Director of Athletics