Georgia High School Association votes to delay start of football season by 2 weeks

The Georgia High School Association.
The Georgia High School Association. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school fall football games in Georgia are being delayed — but not canceled — due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board of trustees met on Monday to assess the plan for fall sports and voted to delay the start of the football season by two weeks, but keep the full slate of games and state playoffs intact.

The decision, agreed to on a 12-0 vote, keeps the start of fall practice July 27, with teams moving to full pads on Aug. 1.

Week 1 games in Georgia were scheduled Aug. 21. The regular season now begins on Sept. 4 and will still be a 10-game regular season.

Other fall sports like cheerleading, cross country, flag football, fast-pitch softball and volleyball will start on time.

The GHSA has been steadily incorporating a phased return to voluntary workouts for high school athletes. On July 1, the GHSA allowed teams to begin holding intrasquad scrimmages like 7-on-7 and on Monday, it allowed football players to begin using helmets.

But the reality of playing actual games remains up in the air as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, as evidenced by Gwinnett County’s announcement on Monday.

The largest school district in the state with 23 high schools announced that it would start school on Aug. 12 with all virtual learning. It had previously announced a hybrid model. The GHSA addressed that in its meeting, with member Jasper Jewell saying that the Atlanta Public School system may cancel the season completely without a delayed start.

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