Fall athletic programs may begin soon, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said.

MARYLAND — Falls sports may soon start up again in some Maryland school districts, officials said Thursday. While the season will be abbreviated to about seven weeks, authorities expect the offering of some type of group sports to help bolster mental health for young people.

Local school systems may begin their interscholastic athletic programs Wednesday, Oct. 7, Gov. Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said in an announcement.

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"Getting our kids back on the playing field and allowing youth sports to resume this fall is critical for the social and mental wellbeing of our students," Hogan said, speaking at a news conference in Frederick. "Now that all 24 jurisdictions have submitted plans to resume in-person instruction, allowing fall sports to begin next month marks another important step on our road to recovery."

So far, authorities say 11 of the state's 24 school systems have made clear they plan to offer in-person athletic opportunities for the fall: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Cecil, Frederick, Garrett, St. Mary's, Washington and Worcester counties.

"The steps taken today are directly related to the need of our students to be active and engaged for their physical, social, and emotional well-being," Salmon said. "These programs have a history of providing opportunities for all students, and not just those with the economic capabilities, to participate." Read more at Patch