Photo: Casey Sykes/AJC
Photo: Casey Sykes/AJC

A plan for restarting high school sports in Georgia is coming

A plan is coming.

Robin Hines, executive director of the Georgia High School Association, said a plan for restarting high school sports will be presented to the board Thursday.

A decision could come as early as Friday.

Appearing on the “Georgia Prep Sports: From a Distance” video podcast, Hines said the lifting of restrictions would be specific to conditioning and summer activities. No specific date would be outlined, but June 1 has been mentioned previously.

Hines said he was hopeful games will be played as scheduled in the fall, but there’s no guarantee.

Hines said guidelines produced by the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee were outlined for high schools nationwide. The GHSA has a proposal from “our committee appropriate for the state of Georgia in line with what the governor has put in his order.”

The ultimate decision to reopen sports activities remains with the schools. Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville last week became the first school in the state to announce that it would be canceling its fall sports seasons next school year.

The NFHS laid out a three-stage approach to a return to activities, which include preseason conditioning, using guidelines released by the White House last month. The recommendations address COVID-19 screening, face coverings, group sizes, showering and dressing, equipment sanitization and sharing of towels and clothes.

Glynn Academy football coach Rocky Hidalgo said earlier in the program that the decision to play or not goes beyond the football programs, but the economic health of the schools.

Hines said many of the steps in the NFHS guidelines would be cost-prohibitive, but some are possible.

The state association is being advised to “go forward with caution,” Hines said, but he made clear that “this isn’t going to be what normally happens in June.”

“We need to get this right,” Hines urged.

Watch the entire interview here:

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