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High school athletics resume in the Big Bend area and southern Georgia

Posted at 9:44 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:50:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — High school athletic teams in the state of Florida got the green light from the Florida High School Athletic Association Friday that they can start working out again.

The FHSAA released a statement saying schools may begin summer activities they day after their classes conclude or June 1, for those schools who end on May 31 or later.

School Districts in Florida are responsible for deciding when teams can return to play, and activities should be limited to a school's own athletes.

The FHSAA advised that schools also follow their local CDC guidelines.

On Tuesday, Leon County Schools announced that fall sport athletes can start their off-season/summer conditioning per FHSAA guidelines on June 15, according to Ricky Bell, Director of Student Activities.

There will be extra precautions that schools will have to abide by. Those will be given to Athletic Directors on Friday, May 29.

Other schools around Leon County that aren't under Leon County Schools are still making final decisions as to when to start back. There are a lot of guidelines that have to be followed, and most are awaiting final approval.

Georgia’s teenage athletes can resume conditioning at their high schools beginning June 8, the Georgia High School Association’s Board of Trustees confirmed in a Thursday meeting.

The National Federation of State High School Associations is normally helping state high school associations with rule changes or safety protocols on the field, but now that guidance is needed to help return from a pandemic.

The NFHS has created some guidelines and advice for state high school associations as they try to return to athletics and activities.

There are 51 member state associations that will receive the following guidelines as they each try to move through opening up high school sports in their specific states.

The NFHS worked with medical doctors, certified athletic trainers, high school coaches, and officials as well as research specialists and state high school association executives to develop the criteria and information in their guidance.

The guidance document addresses hygiene practices, travel, social distancing, officials, and progression to returning to athletics, and suggests the following questions:

1. Will your state association conduct an athletics/activities regular season or championship if public schools statewide are closed to in-person learning (apart from regularly scheduled school breaks)?

2. Will your state association conduct an athletics/activities regular season or championship if schools are closed only in COVID-19 “hotspots” in your state? (excluding participants from schools that are closed)?

3. Will your state association conduct an athletics/activities regular season in sports deemed “lower risk” for COVID-19 transmission while cancelling athletics/activities considered “higher-risk?”

4. Are there recommendations unique to your state – or regions of your state – that you need to take into consideration when developing return-to-activity guidelines?