Highs school football activities were put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic spread.
Photo: Jason Getz/For the AJC
Photo: Jason Getz/For the AJC

‘Football is critically important, but we need to ease into this’

“Football is critically important to us, but we need to ease into this,” GHSA executive director Robin Hines warned as he explained the timeline for returning students to sports activities this summer.

The GHSA recommended its member schools shut down sports activities March 12 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hines said the association is spurred into restoring sports activities out of a concern of the “kids being inactive.”

Hines said on the 11th episode of the “Georgia Prep Sports: From a Distance” video podcast that the association is preparing guidelines for a measured return to sports activities. The guidelines will range from the number of players allowed in facilities to protocols for equipment usage and cleaning between workouts.

Hines said one likely scenario could have one coach working with a rotation of up to nine players per session. 

He said the guidelines could be in place by June. He said coaches, school principals and superintendents will have a role in how and when the guidelines are put into action. Hines reiterated that summer activities are voluntary and participation will be dictated by a student’s — and that student’s family — comfort level with being part of team activities. 

“We are hopeful of getting something going this summer, but like the nation, it will be measured,” Hines said.

The association also is walking through different scenarios for the football season, which range from starting with the 11-game Corky Kell Classic on Aug. 19 to pushing the season start back and finishing with the championships in January.

“We want to have as normal a season as we can, but we’re a long ways away,” Hines said.

You can see the entirety of Hines’ interview here:

The podcast is produced by PlayOn Sports, which runs the National Federation High School network, and airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting at noon.

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