What are the start dates for high school football in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C.? (latest updates)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every high school governing body in America has had to decide when it is safe to play football in their state. Some states elected to play as if it were a normal year (Utah), some had delayed start dates (Texas) and some have moved football to 2021 (California).

Below is a quick overview followed by a specific list detailing every state’s decision on high school football. We will continue to keep this list updated as states adjust to the ongoing pandemic.

Here are the 34 states that played football in fall/winter 2020-21:

(Note: Michigan was the last state to finish its fall/winter season on Jan. 23.)

Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Utah, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan, Delaware, Minnesota, Colorado and Louisiana.

And here are the 14 states and districts that have officially moved high school football to late winter and into spring 2021:

California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York and Vermont.

Three states have officially canceled their football seasons: Connecticut, Hawaii and Maine.


Alabama: Season complete (Full Alabama coverage here)

Alaska: Season complete

Arizona: Season complete (Full Arizona coverage here)

Arkansas: Season complete

California: TBD due to COVID-19 (Full California coverage here)

Colorado: After initially moving football to 2021, schools were given the option to opt in to having a fall football season if they wanted. 218 schools began games on Oct. 8. 58 schools will play in the spring.

Connecticut: Season canceled

Delaware: Season complete

District of Columbia: Games will start in February and the postseason will finish in April.

Florida: Games began Sept. 4 for some schools, but others in counties that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, opted to start football later and miss out on the postseason in order to play more games.

Georgia: Season complete

Hawaii: Season canceled

Idaho: Season complete (Full Idaho coverage here)

Illinois: Football can begin in some areas on March 3. “Announcements were also made for several early-spring sports, including football, which will allow practices to get underway on March 3. According to the IHSA, games can begin on March 19 in regions that are in Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules, and the season will conclude on April 24. There will not be a postseason tournament for football this spring, the association announced,” per NBC 5 Chicago.

Indiana: Season complete

Iowa: Season complete

Kansas: Season complete

Kentucky: Season complete

Louisiana: Season complete

Maine: Season canceled

Maryland: Fall sports seasons for public schools will begin Feb. 13, with games starting March 5. Some private schools in the state began playing football games in November.

Many private schools that started playing ended up having to stop their seasons midway through, according to Katherine Fominykh of the Capital Gazette:

Archbishop Spalding joins a growing list of private schools that have had seasons cut short because of coronavirus or limitations caused by the virus. Fall athletics at Annapolis Area Christian School were suspended Nov. 16, and John Carroll School did the same on Nov. 11 as the school moved from hybrid learning to virtual.

Several other private schools, including Calvert Hall, Loyola Blakefield, Concordia Prep and Mercy, halted play this weekend when Baltimore County limited outdoors gatherings to a maximum of 25 people. The annual Turkey Bowl football game between Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield was subsequently canceled for the first time in a century.


Massachusetts: The high school football season is scheduled to take place from Feb. 22-April 25.

Michigan: The season was moved to 2021, but that decision was changed when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer adjusted an executive order that called for social distancing at all outdoor competitions. Games began Sept. 18., but the season was paused for three weeks due to rising COVID-19 numbers in the state. The season concluded with state championship games on Jan. 22 and 23.

Minnesota: After initially opting for a 2021 season, Minnesota went with a six-game season with games beginning Oct. 9. On Nov. 20, the state canceled the remainder of its football season due to a statewide rise in COVID-19 numbers.

Mississippi: Season complete (Full Mississippi coverage here)

Missouri: Season complete

Montana: Season complete

Nebraska: Season complete

Nevada: TBD. Football practices may begin Feb. 15 with games starting March 5, if Governor Steve Sisolak lifts the current Statewide Pause, which affects high school sports.

New Hampshire: Season complete

New Jersey: Season complete

New Mexico: Football season begins Feb. 22

New York: Practices begin March 1 but only as permitted by respective local health authorities.

North Carolina: Football practices begin Feb. 8 with games starting Feb. 26. Schools competing in The North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association played in the fall and their season is over.

North Dakota: Season complete

Ohio: Season complete

Oklahoma: Season complete

Oregon: Practice is scheduled to start Feb. 10 and games are scheduled to start March 5. (Full Oregon coverage here)

Pennsylvania: Season complete for some schools, others will play this spring.

Rhode Island: Practices start Feb. 22, but games are TBD

South Carolina: Season complete

South Dakota: Season complete

Tennessee: Season complete

Texas: Teams in the 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A classes began in August and teams in 5A and 6A started playing between Sept. 24 and Sept. 26. All seasons are now complete.

Utah: Season complete

Vermont: Schools in Vermont that want to play football in 2020-21 will play two hand touch seven-on-seven.

Virginia: Football practices begin on Feb. 4 with games starting Feb. 22.

Washington: Practice is scheduled to start Feb. 1. Thousands of athletes will start on that date following an announcement from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. (Full Washington coverage here)

West Virginia: West Virginia played in 2020, but had their state championships canceled due to COVID-19.

Wisconsin: Practices began Sept. 7 and games started Sept. 21, but schools could elect to play in the spring or break up their season between 2020 and 2021 if they preferred. The fall football season ended Nov. 20, with no high school football state championships being played.

Wyoming: Season complete

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