By an 11-4 count Thursday night, the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors voted to postpone the start of the fall sports season by nearly a month.
Three days after voting to keep the official start date of practice as July 27, the board shifted direction during a three-hour Zoom meeting. It ultimately decided to push that start date to Aug. 24.
But the board plans to meet in person Aug. 17 to re-evaluate the COVID-19 data and to discuss the State Medicine Advisory Committee’s report further. That report recommends football and volleyball do not begin until certain benchmarks are met amid the pandemic. It did give the green light for the other fall sports to begin.
Most schools across the state already planned on delaying the start of their seasons anyway, including Santa Rosa County, which announced Wednesday it planned to allow fall sports practice to begin Aug. 17. That date is no longer valid after the decision by the FHSAA.
Based on the Santa Rosa County decision, competition would have been allowed to begin Sept. 4. An official start date for competition is now up in the air. The SMAC report recommends at least two or three weeks of practice before a season begins.
Despite Thursday’s decision, teams are allowed to continue workouts as they have been all summer.