Football and girls' soccer --

HERMITAGE -- Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA, sent the following memo to member schools Tuesday, June 30 regarding the status of high school athletics amidst the Governor's latest State of Emergency order.

On Monday, the Governor’s office extended Tennessee's COVID-19 State of Emergency until August 29, 2020. The Governor's prior order (No. 38) includes limitations and restrictions on contact sporting events and activities.

"We are working with the Governor’s office to ensure that our member schools are in compliance with the executive order in regards to athletic participation and contact sports," Childress said.

"While the Governor’s order is in place, member schools cannot have any competition or scrimmage with other schools and cannot have close contact activities during their fundamental practice in the sports of football, 7-on-7 football, girls' soccer, wrestling and basketball. No mention was made of volleyball, cross country and golf competition.

Based on the extension of the Governor's order, football and girls' soccer cannot begin their seasons as originally scheduled.

"We are in the process of developing regular season and postseason options to present to the TSSAA Board of Control for their consideration. The Board will ultimately make the decision as to how this will impact the postseason and if any adjustments can be made to regular season competition."

Football and girls' soccer were scheduled to open the 2020 season the week of Aug. 17, but that start date might be pushed back at least a month.

The annual TSSAA "dead period" ends Monday, July 6 and will allow fall sports teams to continue to lift weights and condition in a "social distancing" setting.

"We, along with several other teams, had planned on going to Cookeville for a day of 7-on-7 (passing)," said Lebanon High football coach Chuck Gentry. "We'll go back to doing what we were doing before the dead period."

Back in March the TSSAA pulled the plug on the girls and boys BlueCross Basketball Championship tournaments as well as the entire spring sports schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization is believed to have lost out on in excess of $1 million due to the cancellation of district, region and sectional tournaments in baseball and softball as well as the cancellation of the "Spring Fling" championships.

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