AHSAA Says Football is a Go-Provides Best Practices for Schools

July 25, 2020

During his tenure as AHSAA executive director, Steve Savarese has always emphasized the priority of the AHSAA should be the student athlete. On Wednesday he proved it.

Along with his staff and the Central Board of Control, Savarese sent out the word that Alabama intended to put students back to play with guidelines that would allow young people to play their games safely.

“The purpose of the Return to Play document is to offer AHSAA member schools best practices in order to commence the 2020-21 school year athletic seasons as scheduled and as safely as possible,” said Savarese.

Here is a synopsis of the rule modifications passed by the Central Board and suggested by the AHSAA in the “best practices” document, as well as NFHS rule modifications for football for the 2020 season.

  1. Football practice may begin Monday, July 27th as a week of acclimatization. Practices must be in helmets and shorts and no two a days allowed.
  2. Teams that start on the 27th may begin practice in shells beginning Monday, August 3rd and in full pads on Wednesday, August 5th. The first full pad scrimmage can be held on Friday, August 7th. Two a days are allowed.
  3. Schools should continue their practices of summer workouts concerning social distancing, wearing masks when distancing is not practical and keeping all equipment as clean as possible. Practice gear worn by players must be washed daily, as should scrimmage vests, towels, etc. All athletes should be monitored for symptoms.
  4. At practices and games, players should have their own individual drinking containers.
  5. Any student who was isolated or quarantined must complete a minimum five-day acclimatization before returning to play.
  6. Home teams should communicate to the visiting teams information concerning size of locker rooms, parking, concessions, cheerleader and band entrances, entranced requirements for fans, mask ordinances, etc.
  7. Sidelines will be extended from 10 yard line to 10 yard line for players to distance from one another but coaches must stay from 25 to 25.
  8. No handshakes before or after the game. One captain should be present at the pre game coin toss.
  9. Charged time outs, conferences after scores and intermissions between periods will be extended to two minutes.
  10. Ball should be constantly cleaned and sanitized. Towels should not be shared.
  11. Only essential personnel should be on the sidelines.
  12. Coaches and non players on the sidelines are encouraged to wear masks.
  13. Contingency plans for playoffs will be announced in October if the Covid-19 situation requires adjustments because of school closures or forfeits.

The full document can be seen at the following link:

https://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Board%20Approved%20Document-Best%20Practices%20for%20Return%20to%20Play.pdf