Following the weekly meeting with the Sports Medicine Advisory Council, Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines announced that the GHSA will be moving forward with the September fourth football start date for the opening of the 2020 season.
After the Sports Medicine Advisory Council meeting, director Hines spoke with the Athens Banner-Herald in regard to the number of COVID-19 cases across the state, but was confident that the season would return on the now delayed football start date of September fourth.
Hines told the Athens Banner-Herald, “While the numbers aren’t what we would prefer right now, they’re trending down, we feel good about that, and pending some spikes between now and then, my recommendation is going to be that we go ahead and play.”
The GHSA has previously reported that there will be around 70 Georgia football teams of 425 total that are unlikely to play the first week of the season because of coronavirus concerns dictated by their school district or private schools.
Included in the list of teams that will be sitting out for the week of September 4th are 19 DeKalb County teams, 16 Fulton County teams, 8 Savannah-Chatham teams, and 6 Bibb county teams. Several other teams across the state will also be sitting out until given the OK from their administrators and school board.
Tennessee will begin their High School football season tonight, and they have already released their guidelines for spectators and fines which can be found HERE. Viewing this should help give GHSA fans a little insight in what to expect come September fourth when Georgia returns to Friday night lights.
The Georgia High School Association has released “strongly recommended” game-day operation guidelines in order for the high school football season to proceed as normal when it opens for good on September Fourth. These game-day guidelines and recommendations are given to spectators and parents in order to ensure that the football season will be able to continue and so that these student athletes are able to play a whole season. The whole list of guidelines can be found HERE.
Game Day Venue Restrictions
- Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments and health care professionals should determine what personnel (cheerleaders, band, mascots, dance team, etc.) should participate in events. It is strongly recommended to take into consideration the venue’s ability to safely allow for and enforce proper physical distancing.
- The media accommodations will be handled by host school personnel.
- GHSA member schools should follow the guidance of local, state, and federal recommendations as it pertains to spectator events and stadium capacity restrictions if such information becomes available.
- It is highly recommended that spectators have their temperature assessed prior to entering the competition venue and should be denied entry if higher than 100.4 degrees.
- It is highly recommended that spectators always wear a facemask/covering possible. □ Spectators should be restricted from direct competition areas and from visiting with student athletes and personnel before, during and after events.
- Spectators should always practice social distancing whenever possible. Household members are excluded.
- Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments, should determine whether “to-go” meals for their student-athletes in individualized, single packaged containers should be permitted.
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, they must follow state guidelines for “Restaurants, Bars, and Banquet & Catering Facilities/Services” as outlined in the current Governor’s Executive Order
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, concession workers should wear masks and gloves in accordance with state mandates.
- Any worker should be screened before they are permitted to perform work duties in the concession.
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, individuals in line for concessions should practice physical distancing.
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, precautions for social distancing should always be adhered to.