X

GHSA director explains decision to delay football season start

The Dacula football team breaks through their banner as they run onto the field before a game against Lanier Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at Dacula High School in Dacula.
The Dacula football team breaks through their banner as they run onto the field before a game against Lanier Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at Dacula High School in Dacula.

Credit: Casey Sykes

Credit: Casey Sykes

GHSA executive director Robin Hines appeared on the “Georgia Prep Sports: From a Distance” video podcast Wednesday to reiterate that the decision to delay the start of the Georgia high school football season by two weeks was done “out of an abundance of caution.”

After an initial proposal to keep the existing schedule failed by an 8-4 vote, the Georgia High School Association’s board of trustees voted 12-0 on Monday to postpone football season until Sept. 4, but cancel no games. The state finals are expected to be played after Christmas Day.

Hines said Wednesday the move was not just in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but so teams would have a fair amount of time to prepare athletes.

Hines, who will meet with his sports-medicine advisory committee later Wednesday, said that on the agenda would be the use of face coverings as the organization hopes to announce more easing of restrictions for voluntary summer conditioning, which will be completed at the end of next week.

The GHSA allowed the use of helmets for the first time this week. Part of that decision requires headgear is disinfected before and after use. Hines said Wednesday’s meeting would explore the possible opening of the locker rooms and the protocols to clean and maintain social distancing in that space.

“One positive I’ve heard from many is ‘our facilities have been a whole lot cleaner than they have been in the past,‘” Hines joked.

He said he coaches and athletic directors have been dedicated to “get the job done,” and keeping interactions safe to ensure the season goes on as planned.

Starting later keeps in place many high-profile inter-region games, including those in the Corky Kell Classic, which traditionally symbolizes the start of the news season in metro Atlanta. Corky Kell organizers confirmed they’re still planning for their four-day event to start Sept. 2, a Wednesday.

Watch the interview here:

Also on the broadcast are Sandy Creek football coach Brett Garvin and Brookwood’s Philip Jones.

Volleyball, and other fall sports, including cross country, fast-pitch softball and cheerleading remain on schedule.

About the Author

ajc.com