TSSAA votes on contingency plans for football and girls soccer; passes 12 fall sports regulations

Sports

TENNESSEE (WATE) — TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress says the goal is to have as ordinary of a season as much as possible during the coronavirus pandemic; he continued with that the contingency plans that are being voted on during the Wednesday meeting are, “worst-case scenarios.”

UPDATE: TSSAA votes for the second option for a football contingency plan, with a hybrid plan deviation; this if Gov. Lee’s executive order remains in place.

Option 2: 

  • Teams would play an eight-game regular season.
  • TSSAA would scrap each teams current schedule and set region schedules for all member schools.
  • One week of the postseason would be cut out and feature a 16-team postseason bracket.
  • Only region champs and region runner-ups would qualify for the playoffs.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play two additional games to play a 10-game schedule.

Girls soccer regular season to start September 7

TSSAA votes to allow the girls soccer regular season to begin September 7 if Governor Lee’s executive order still runs through August 10.

TSSAA: Reveals most popular football contingency plan

TSSAA said the second option for a football contingency plan was the most popular among the coaches and administrators.

During the meeting, TSSAA says that if a health department declares a safer-at-home order, it will shut down sports.

If a team has an outbreak of COVID-19:

  • The opposing team who could play will receive a win
  • The team who could not play (as a result of a positive COVID-19 test) will not record a win nor a loss
  • If this happens during playoffs/postseason play, that team would be eliminated

TSSAA passes 12 fall sports regulations

These regulations are effective immediately and will remain in place all season long even if/after Governor Lee lifts his executive order.

  • Regulation 1: Temperature checks will be required for all players, coaches and team personnel prior to the start of practice, every single day.
    • If the temperature is 100.4 or greater, they must be sent home.
    • They cannot return until they provide documentation that says they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 or they have a physician that says COVID-19 is not the cause of their fever.
  • Regulation 2: No coach, player, or team personnel may participate in a practice or contest until completing a COVID-19 screening. Must be asked weekly.
  • Regulation 3: No scrimmages, jamborees, 7-on-7 practices, or any other types of practices with other teams are permitted.
  • Regulation 4: At a contest, coaches, players, team personnel, officials, administrators or fans must have temperatures checked before entering the facilities.
    • If it is 100.4 or greater they will not be permitted.
  • Regulation 5: Symptom checklist must be posted prominently at all contests similar to the screening of players and coaches will partake in.
  • Regulation 6: At a contest where fans are permitted, member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that would allow for adequate physical and social distancing.
  • Regulation 7: Member schools will require that fans must wear masks/face masks while on site.
  • Regulation 8: Temperature checks and screenings shall apply to member bands, cheerleaders, and student groups at the contests.
  • Regulation 9: If a public address service is used during a contest, the school will use the service to remind those in attendance to wear masks and social distance.
  • Regulation 10: Frequent cleaning/sanitization is encouraged.
  • Regulation 11: Concessions are discouraged.
  • Regulation 12: All coaches must complete the NFHS online COVID-19 course for coaches prior to start/resume of coaching.

Something to note: While the TSSAA is not mandating a specific number of fans permitted in the stands, they are encouraging stadiums to operate at 1/3 or 1/4 capacity while also marking off specific seats for fans to sit in.

TSSAA board of directors votes to allow schools who have opted for virtual-only classes as a result of COVID-19 to participate in athletics.

Option 2: 

  • Teams would play an eight-game regular season.
  • TSSAA would scrap each teams current schedule and set region schedules for all member schools.
  • One week of the postseason would be cut out and feature a 16-team postseason bracket.
  • Only region champs and region runner-ups would qualify for the playoffs.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play two additional games to play a 10-game schedule.
TSSAA Board of Control Meeting

EARLIER: The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s board of control is holding a meeting regarding a contingency plan for fall contact sports, as well as re-classification at Siegel High School on Wednesday.

On July 8, the TSSAA’s board of control did not vote on a contingency plan for the fall contact sports and instead chose to wait in accordance with the advice they were given by Gov. Bill Lee’s legal counsel and office staff.

Also, on July 1, the TSSAA presented four options to the board of directors for high school football.

Option 1: 

  • Teams would play a seven-game regular season.
  • TSSAA would scrap each teams current schedule and set region schedules for all member schools.
  • The postseason would start on time and feature a 32-team postseason bracket.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play two additional games to play a nine-game season. 

Option 2: 

  • Teams would play an eight-game regular season.
  • TSSAA would scrap each teams current schedule and set region schedules for all member schools.
  • One week of the postseason would be cut out and feature a 16-team postseason bracket.
  • Only region champs and region runner-ups would qualify for the playoffs.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play two additional games to play a 10-game schedule.

Option 3: 

  • Teams would play the normal nine-game regular season.
  • Teams would keep their current schedules.
  • Two weeks of the postseason would be cut out and feature an eight-team postseason bracket
  • Only region champions would qualify for the playoffs and the postseason would start in the quarterfinals.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play one additional game to play a 10-game schedule. This addition of a game is already in the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association bylaws for teams that have a non-losing record and fail to qualify for the playoffs.

Option 4:

  • The TSSAA board of directors was presented with a fourth option that included not having a postseason, but Childress added that it has been an unpopular option. Childress encouraged the board to make a decision as to which option they’d like to pursue by July 8.

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