As the final week of the two-week dead period heads to a close the question of whether or not athletes will be allowed to return to school property for workouts and training is still up in the air.
July 6 is the target date to resume practices with July 27 the date set to return to full pads. But, as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee has decided to extend the state of emergency to Aug. 29. With that decision, the return to practice remains in limbo.
The order could also affect regular team scrimmages, seven-on-seven scrimmages and jamborees. The regular season was scheduled to begin Aug. 21.
The Governor’s recommendation encourages Tennesseans to wear faces masks and adhere to social distancing while limiting gatherings to 50 people.
Governor Brian Kemp extended Georgia’s state of emergency to Aug. 11.
With a high likelihood of close contact on the practice field, teams may be able to conduct the same non-contact practices that were in effect prior to the two-week dead period currently being observed. The Governor’s order does not, however, include the college of professional football in Tennessee so far.
Volleyball, golf, cross country and girls' soccer will not be as likely to be affected since they are considered limited-contact sports.
The Tennessee Secondary Sports Athletics Association plans to release a statement today concerning the upcoming return to the practice field.
One idea that has been floated to the TSSAA suggests moving the football season to the spring of 2021 and swapping traditionally spring sports — baseball, track, tennis, softball and soccer — to the fall since those sports are not considered close contact sports and crowds are generally not as large.