The 2020 high school football and girls soccer seasons in Tennessee will not begin on time, the TSSAA said Tuesday afternoon.
The organization’s announcement comes one day after Gov. Bill Lee extended the state’s COVID-19 State of Emergency until at least Aug. 29. Lee’s order includes limitations and restrictions on contact sports’ events and activities.
Until Aug. 29, high school football and soccer teams will not be permitted to play any official games or scrimmages with other schools and cannot have close contact during normal practices. The governor’s order also includes basketball and wrestling practices. It also extends to TMSAA, which governs middle school athletics, among its membership.
The first day for high school football games in the state was supposed to be Aug. 21, meaning teams across the state will not be able to even practice in full contact until they originally were scheduled to have played two regular season games.
In a memo sent to member schools, Executive Director Bernard Childress said the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is working with the governor’s office to ensure schools are in compliance with the executive order.
The next step is to find a solution for altering the football and soccer seasons.
“We are in the process of developing regular season and postseason options to present to the TSSAA Board of Control for their consideration,” Childress said in the memo. “The Board will ultimately make the decision as to how this will impact the postseason and if any adjustments can be made to regular season competition.”
The board of control is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. today (Wednesday, July 1) with discussion on adapting schedules and if the scheduled reclassification of member schools will proceed as planned.
The governor’s order will not affect volleyball, golf and cross country, so those sports still can begin their seasons on time.
Based on the TSSAA calendar, the first day golf teams can practice together is July 13. Golf teams can begin their regular season on July 27.
The first day of practice for volleyball and cross country teams is July 27. They can play games beginning Aug. 17.