PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– UPDATE– Bay District Schools announced on Aug. 21 that teams can begin fall practices on Sept. 4. Teams are allowed to play their first games the week of Sept. 14.
The FHSAA Board of Directors voted on Friday morning to start fall sports on Aug. 24. The vote was 11-5.
Schools will have the option to opt-out of the state series, they will notify the FHSAA on or before Sept. 18. Regular season contest will begin on Sept. 4.
Bay District responded to the news with this statement:
“We have been closely following the discussions of the FHSAA and we support them in their decision to give local districts as much flexibility as possible. We will be meeting virtually on Monday with our high school principals and athletic directors to explore our next steps and will also be consulting with our trusted healthcare partners and medical experts.”
“We know that sports, and other extra-curricular activities, are very important to many of our students and families and we look forward to exploring all of the options and protocols that could allow them to engage in these activities as soon as and as safely as possible.”
Bay High School head football coach Keith Bland said there’s still so many unanswered questions that need to be addressed before they start practice.
“I think realistically we need at least two weeks of full practice before we move into game week, I would feel more comfortable with that as far as getting the kids ready,” Bland said. “Then there is other scenarios that come up, what happens if we do happen to have a student-athlete who tests positive for COVID at the time, how do we address that?”
“Hopefully we don’t have to adjust the game schedule, but there is still some guidance and some clarifications we need in order to really start on the 24th and to be safe about it,” Bland said.
District officials said they will have more to say on the matter on Monday.