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Data: MaxPreps; Graphic: Naema Ahmed/Axios

High school football has already kicked off in thousands of towns across America, and more will join them soon. Elsewhere, entire regions of the country have postponed the season.

The state of play: Seven states have begun playing games, and 10 more are set to do so by the end of the week.

  • Another 17 states are scheduled to kick off in September or October, while 16 states — plus Washington, D.C. — have moved the season to the spring.

How it works: Though states have the autonomy to make these decisions for themselves, they do so with guidance from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which "is in touch on a daily basis with state associations," executive director Dr. Karissa Niehoff tells Axios.

"The NFHS is by design different from the NCAA. We do as much as we can at a national level to provide leadership, guidance and resources, but we don't make decisions on a state by state basis that they're required to follow."Every state association has its own sports medicine advisory committee, as well as departments of education and health agencies that help inform school superintendents. ... From a national level down to a school-based level, there are a ton of people involved in the process."
— Dr. Karissa Niehoff

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 25, 2020 - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.