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TSSAA Announces Contingency Plans For Football, Girls Soccer

Photo by Kailee Means

The TSSAA Board of Control voted on the contingency plans for Fall Contact sports on Wednesday, as well as their safety guidelines which go into effect immediately.

A hybrid version of option two was voted into place for football, meaning there will be an eight-game season with a 16-team playoff bracket. Only the top two teams in each region would be eligible for the playoffs.

The main difference in the hybrid model is that it doesn’t provide a clear, definitive start date, but it does allow for the TSSAA to have a roadmap on a week-by-week basis. It also allows for flexibility for teams that are not able to begin contact practices on the start date.

For example, if the teams aren’t allowed to begin contact practices on Aug. 3, five region games across the state would be affected in week one. If that extends to Aug. 10, 13 more games would be affected in week two. As the calendar moves forward, these games would be theoretically made up during weeks 7-10, based on open dates and non-region games.

Each team will also have to go through an acclimation period, as well as three weeks of practice before they are allowed to compete.

“Clearly, sports will look different this year,” Executive Director Bernard Childress said. “We have to be flexible and understand that we are in a unique situation.”

For girls soccer, the contingency plan would start the season on Sept. 7 and the postseason would start on Nov. 11-14. If a team doesn’t play the maximum number of games and they fail to qualify for postseason play, they would be able to schedule extra games.

This is also flexible based on the current executive order.

“If the executive order is lifted or expires before Aug. 10, then we would proceed with the schedule as planned,” Assistant Executive Director Mark Reeves said. “The contingency plan would kick in if the executive order expires on Aug. 10 or later…the date of first contests would be Sept. 7, and that ensures that there will be at least one week of preseason.”

One more motion passed, which stated that any team that wasn’t able to play a postseason game due to COVID-19 would forfeit the contest. Any regular-season games under the same scenario are treated as no-contests.

The Board of Control additionally passed their safety guidelines, which go into effect immediately for all Fall sports. These guidelines include the following:

  • Players, coaches and personnel will have to take a temperature check prior to practice every day. Any person with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be required to leach and cannot return without a negative COVID-19 test or verification from a doctor that the temperature wasn’t caused by it.


  • No coach, player or personnel can compete without a completed COVID-19 questionnaire.


  • There will be no scrimmages, jamborees or seven-on-seven contests.


  • Fans entering a facility must have a temperature taken, excluding children age 2 or younger. The same guidelines in place for players and coaches will also be in place for fans.


  • Member schools must require fans to wear face coverings while attending events.


  • Concession stands will not be prohibited, thought they are discouraged.


  • Coaches must complete a NFHS COVID-19 course.


  • Schools are urged to limit capacity between 1/4 to 1/3 capacity.

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