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FHSAA votes to begin high school football season as scheduled

Sports

A student athlete runs a drill during a strength and conditioning camp at Arlington Martin High School Thursday, June 18, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. While states have been easing the economic and social lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, some are now letting high school athletes return for summer workouts before teachers have even figured out how they are going to hold classroom instruction. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) The Florida High School Athletic Association executive board voted 10-5 in favor of maintaining the state’s July 27th start for high school fall sports, including football. Teams in the bay area and the rest of Florida can begin full practices next Monday.

The ruling also states that schools that cannot begin practices on the 27th will have to declare an intention to not compete in the state series (playoffs).

This would allow a later start date and give those schools a chance to at least complete a regular season, even as the playoffs occur at the same time.

The meeting began with a report from the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), which did not recommend a hard date for practices to begin, rather guidelines for safety.

SMAC advised the executive board that there needs to be a statewide downward trend in coronavirus cases, less than five percent of those cases positive, then allow a two-week build-up for programs before competition.

Injuries and heat-related ailments were the major factors behind the two week period.

SMAC also advised that other fall sports could possibly begin on time, or at least before football, due to their lower risk of virus transmissions. These sports are golf, bowling, cross country and swimming and diving.

The executive board voted unanimously to deny a three-sports classification system, which would essentially place schools into districts and regions based on different opening dates.

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