AHSAA meets with sports committees to discuss upcoming football season, fall sports

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The AHSAA met online Tuesday with its Fall Sports and Football Coaches’ Committees for a conference with the AHSAA Medical Advisory Board Committee and the Alabama State Department of Education.

During the meeting, AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese touched on some of the changes that are being considered to the upcoming football season to keep players and coaches as safe as possible.

“One would be more time during timeouts to allow for some cleaning during that time. The sidelines would be increased, normally they’re 25 to 25, we’ve asked for them to go from 10 to 10. Pregame will look a little different. There will not be as many participants, you won’t see the formal handshakes at the end,” Savarese said. “We’re in the COVID world right now and we’re learning how to live with the virus. So, those are just some of the rule modifications we’re looking at but we’ll have them for volleyball, we’ll have them for cross country, swimming and all our fall sports and we’ll release those once the board has approved them.”

ALSDE State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey gave a brief update concerning the ‘Roadmap to Reopening Schools’ plan. AHSAA Medical Advisory Board chairman Dr. James Robinson and board member Dr. Jeffery Dugas updated the committees on most recent data and best practices relating to high school sports activities.

“We are grateful to Dr. Mackey and Mr. (Terry) Roller of the ALSDE, and Dr. Robinson and Dr. Dugas of our Medical Advisory Committee for taking the time to join our committee meeting,” Savarese said. “And we appreciate the discussion and input we received from our own committee members. Our world would be in better shape concerning the recent increase in COVID cases if everyone followed the health and safety examples our coaches and administrators provide and practice daily.”

At this time there are no rules in place that would limit fans from attending games. Local teams resumed their summer workout programs at the start of June and have been adjusting to fit within health and safety guidelines while preparing for the upcoming season. The start of fall practice is fast approaching and with the number of cases continuing to rise, everyone’s fingers are crossed that this fall sports season can continue safely. Since the sports drought began back in mid-March, players, fans and coaches are eager to see some action this fall and take their minds off current events.

As of right now, the season is set to kick off Thursday, August 20.

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