TSSAA, TMSSA issue practice guidelines for fall sports

Monday, the state released guidelines for sports like girls’ soccer and most notbaly, football, can resume practicing in preparation for the upcoming fall sports seasons for both middle and high schools.

According to a TSSAA statement on its website (www.tssaa.org), “these regulations supplement the existing TSSAA practice regulations and sports calendars in response to the Governor’s extension of Executive Order No. 38 and continued concern over the spread of COVID-19.”

Non-contact sports like golf, cross country and volleyball can begin their pre-season preparations like normal, but with social distancing guidelines observed.

Girls’ soccer teams my practice as long as the drills do not put players into close, physical contact with one another, and scrimmages or other activities invoving another team are not permitted.

Football guidelines include similar restrictions on close physical contact and intersquad scrimmages and also prohibits players from practicing in full pads until five days of “heat-acclimatization” has been completed.

(TSSAA) The following practice regulations are designed to help schools ensure the health and safety of the players and coaches involved in fall sports. These regulations supplement the existing TSSAA practice regulations and sports calendars in response to the Governor’s extension of Executive Order No. 38 and continued concern over the spread of COVID-19.
Non-Contact Sports
Golf, Cross Country, Volleyball
● Teams and players must follow local mandates and the rules of the facility regarding social distancing and cleaning protocols.
● Schools are expected to substantially maintain social distancing between players, coaches and spectators.
● If a local mandate is absent, schools are encouraged to adopt the Tennessee Guidelines for Non-Contact Sports.
Contact Sports
Players cannot participate in contested activities with other participants under the Governor’s Executive Order (No. 50/38).
Girls’ Soccer
● Practice cannot include activities that result in sustained close proximity or physical contact between participants. Training or otherwise engaging in elements or aspects of the sport in a manner that do not involve close contact with other persons is allowed.
● Drills and simulations in which players are not engaged with an opponent are allowed. For these purposes, an opponent is anyone (teammate or coach) who is engaged with the player with sustained close proximity or physical contact.
● Scrimmages, and/or practicing with another team are not allowed under the Governor’s Executive Order (No. 50/38).
Football
● Practice cannot include activities that result in sustained close proximity or physical contact between participants. Training or otherwise engaging in elements or aspects of the sport in a manner that do not involve close contact with other persons is allowed.
● A football player cannot practice in full pads until the 5 days of heat acclimatization has been completed. This heat acclimatization process can still begin on July 20.
● Drills and simulations in which players are not engaged with an opponent are allowed. For these purposes, an opponent is anyone (teammate or coach) who is engaged with the player with sustained close proximity or physical contact, including contact with a blocking pad or other similar equipment being held by a coach or teammate.
● 7-on-7, scrimmages, and/or practicing with another team are not allowed under the Governor’s Executive Order. 

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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