FHSAA plans to start fall sports on schedule — for now

Two weeks ago, the Florida High School Athletic Association decided to put together a task force during its board of directors meeting to figure out the best plan for sports in the fall.

On Tuesday, the task force met for the first time virtually. The plan — for now — is to have fall sports begin on time. The first day of practice is July 27, nearly a month away.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that he expects K-12 schools to reopen at full capacity. Because of that, FHSAA executive director George Tomyn wanted to stick with the original starting date. The FHSAA also wants to stay on schedule because it would disrupt the start of the winter and spring sports.

Tomyn said the organization will remain flexible with schools, especially those in districts that have been affected more from the coronavirus pandemic than others.

That could result in a reduced regular season schedule in some counties. If that happens, the rankings to determine playoff spots can be tweaked.

There also is the possibility of the playoff format being altered depending on how widespread the pandemic is by the time the postseason begins.

“I’m not so sure that we’re going to be able to have (the state series and the state championships) in the traditional format that we’ve had in the past,” Tomyn said.

Fall sports such as bowling, cross country and golf should be able to start with minor adjustments on social distancing because there such little contact. Football and volleyball will need more modifications.

The task force plans to meet again on July 1.