GHSA cancels football scrimmages, postpones cheer, one-act play

The Georgia High School Association canceled preseason football scrimmage games Thursday but left alone the regular-season schedule, which remains set to begin the week of Sept. 4.

Scrimmage football games typically are allowed between schools up to two weeks before their first games. They would have been played the weeks of Aug. 21 and Aug. 28.

The GHSA also moved competitive cheerleading to winter and one-act play tentatively to spring.

GHSA executive director Robin Hines made the announcements in an email to member schools and the board of trustees around noon. They came after his weekly Wednesday meeting with the GHSA’s sports -medicine advisory council and address concerns expressed last week from Georgia Department of Health chairman Dr. Kathleen Toomey, who specifically cited football, cheerleading, chorus and band as higher-risk school activities.

The GHSA does not manage chorus or band, but one-act play sometimes involves singers and a chorus.

Competitive cheer and one-act play are typically fall sports. The GHSA’s new tentative start date for competitive cheerleading competitions is now Nov. 21, with finals Feb. 26-27 instead of late November. Cheer teams may continue to practice.

Specific dates for one-act play were not announced.

Hines’ memo cited concerns over football ‘‘due to high risk and physical contact,’' cheerleading ‘‘due to high risk of indoor packed arena(s), which do not allow for social distancing’' and one-act play ‘‘due to risk of indoor venues and aerosol spray from projection and singers.‘'

The fall sports of cross country, fast-pitch softball and volleyball remain on schedule. Softball games have begun, and cross country and volleyball may begin next week.