MURFREESBORO, TN (WLAF) – Tennessee now has a roadmap for both high school girls’ soccer and football in the fall.
Convening its Board of Control Wednesday in Murfreesboro at Siegel High School, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) approved measures to outline the potential for a nearly complete football and girls’ soccer season.
TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress made it clear from the git-go at Wednesday afternoon’s Board of Control meeting, “We’re working hand-in-hand with the governor’s office. Everything presented today has been vetted by the Governor’s Office, agreed upon by their legal counsel and by our legal counsel. It’s a joint effort.” The effort Childress is referencing is a game plan for girls soccer and girls soccer.
On the girls’ soccer front, in an effort to maximize the number of games and opportunities for competition, the TSSAA adopted a measure to begin the season September 7. That is if Gov. Lee’s order is lifted after its current August 29 expiration date with a regular season spanning eight weeks from beginning to end and championships set for Nov. 11-14. If the order is lifted prior to Aug. 10, the season and championships will proceed as usual with no changes.
The boys soccer season in the spring was scrubbed. Campbell County High School Boys and Girls Soccer Coach Bryan Horton is hoping the girls soccer schedule for this fall will be played. “The unknown is the worst part for us. I do think kids need sports right now. But we are very concerned about doing the right thing for our players,” said Horton.
On Wednesday, the TSSAA voted on a contingency plan for the 2020 high school football season. The Option 2 Hybrid plan is the one the Board of Control approved. This plan simply means teams will play eight regular season games with two teams advancing to the playoffs from each region, instead of four. The hybrid part allows the earliest possible start and helps teams with their scheduling.
Fulton Boys Basketball Coach and Caryville native Jody Wright is a member of the TSSAA Board of Control. Wright said after Wednesday’s meeting, “Starting on time is still a possibility.”
The TSSAA Board of Control approved regulations to go into effect immediately in place for all sports for this school year.
The regulations are:
1) Temperature checks are needed for all players, coaches and personnel before practice. A temperature above 100.4 sends the person in question home, and they can’t return until getting a negative COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note.
2) No coach or player or personnel can compete in a contest or practice without going through COVID-19 screening.
3) No scrimmages, jamborees, 7-on-7 or other types of practices with other teams. Only official contests.
4) At contests, coaches, players, team personnel, officials, administrators and fans must have their temperature checked before entering the facility. If they have a temperature about 100.4 degrees, they will be turned away.
5) At each contest, a symptom checklist shall be posted prominently for spectators.
6) At contests where fan attendance is permitted, member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that will allow for adequate social distancing such as a fourth or third capacity.
7) Member schools will require that all fans wear facial coverings at all times while on-site (except children under age 2) and maintain social distancing
8) Temperature checks and symptom questionnaire applies to members of school band, pep band and cheerleaders
9) If there is a public address system used, the host school will make announcements, reminding spectators about physical distancing.
10) The host school is responsible for providing staff to frequently clean and sanitize areas.
11) Concession stands are discouraged. This is not a mandate, but if concession stands are done, the TSSAA recommends social distancing, masks and call-in orders
12) All coaches must complete the free NFHS online course “COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators” before the first contest.
Childress said, “The goal is to have as ordinary of a season as much as possible. We’ll hope for the best and plan for the worst.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/24/2020-6AM)