(Updated) The TSSAA Board of Control voted Wednesday morning at a special called meeting to delay making any decision on the four options they had been presented for the upcoming prep football season. This effectively places all plans for a fall sports season on hold.
Executive Director Bernard Childress advised the board that they would like more time to work with the governor’s task force before making any decision on a contingency plan. This will affect girl’s soccer, as well.
Mr. Childress said, “We are working with the Governor’s legal counsel and based on the conversation we are having, we think it is best to delay any vote on a contingency plan."
“The Governor’s legal counsel stated that they need time to observe the data and work with us. There will come a time when we will have to make a decision on a contingency plan, but right now it is our opinion that we need to give their legal team the opportunity to see if it is needed in girls’ soccer and football.
“Their legal counselors are well aware of the TSSAA Sports Calendar and we will work to get an answer as soon as we can. TSSAA will not be making any further comment as the discussions with the Governor’s legal counsel are ongoing.
Childress concluded, “If we have any chance of having fall sports, we encourage everyone to wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, and wash hands to help everyone reach the goal of getting the numbers down. The return on that investment would be that we do get to have fall sports on time this year.”
Currently teams may only conduct weight training and conditioning exercises and any fundamental training must be contact-free.
The four plans up for consideration are:
Four plans for football were discussed. Those plans are as follows:
1. If the executive order expires on Aug. 29, practice would begin on Aug. 30 with the first game on Sept. 18. All regular season schedules for schools would be replaced by the state office with a seven-week region schedule for all schools. Playoffs would be conducted as usual, but schools that do not make the playoffs would be able to play two extra games after the regular season.
2. If the executive order expires on Aug. 29, practice could begin on Aug. 30 with the first game on Sept. 18. All regular season schedules for schools would be replaced by the state office with an eight-week region schedule. The regular season would extend into Week 12 and the first-round of the playoffs would be eliminated (only region champions and runners-up would qualify). Teams that do not qualify for the playoffs would be able to play two extra games after the regular season.
3. If the executive order expires on Aug. 29, practice would begin on Aug. 30 with the first game on Sept. 18. Schools would keep their current schedule and begin play with the Week 5 game on September 18. Games scheduled against member schools for Week 3 would be played in Week 12. Games scheduled against member schools for Week 4 would be played in Week 13. Only region champions would advance to the playoffs beginning in Week 14. Schools that do not qualify for the playoffs would be able to play one extra game.
4. Cancel playoffs and championships. Start practice on August 30. Schools play games as scheduled beginning with Week 5 games on September 18. Move games against member schools from Weeks 1-4 to Weeks 12-15.
In other action, it was announced that the board will meet on July 22nd at Siegel High School to discuss classification plans for upcoming seasons. Social distancing and capacity limits will be enforced and masks will be required for all in attendance.
(Email Assistant Sports Editor Dennis Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org)