Board of Directors will vote on the proposals some time between Aug. 10-17
The Florida High School Athletic Association has come up with three options to begin sports, according to documents obtained by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Various FHSAA advisory committees met Wednesday and will meet again today to study the proposals.
The start of the high school fall sports season was delayed after a vote by the FHSAA Board of Directors meetings last week. The Board will vote on the proposals some time between Aug. 10-17.
Here are the options being considered:
• Option 1 calls for a Aug. 24 start of practice with the regular season to begin Sept. 7 with current schedules remaining the same.
• Option 2 would start practice some time after August with the first day of the regular season beginning two weeks after the first day of practice. The regular season would end Nov. 28 and there would not be a state playoff series (regionals, state semifinals or state finals). Instead, a regional or area FHSAA tournament would be held between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12.
• Option 3 would be the most drastic and move things back considerably. The fall sports season would not begin until Nov. 30 with the regular season going from Dec. 14 to Jan. 23. The winter season would run from March 1 to April 3 after starting practice Feb. 15. The spring season would go from May 10 to June 12 with a starting practice date of April 26. The state series would remain intact with some possible adjustments for the three seasons in Option 3.
Area county directors of athletics had varying opinions on the plans.
“I like Option 1 because it keeps your ability to have your kids not have to choose with winter sports,” Sarasota County’s James Slaton said. “And if by some chance we get knocked out because of the COVID-19 we would have the possibility to have the ability to push it (back) then. If you push it in the beginning, you lose that opportunity to push it later.
“And it gives you pretty much a full season with playoff potential. The one negative starting this early is what the health department gives as far as the ability to have fans. We’re hearing different things from 25 percent to 75 percent.”
“Option 1 is unrealistic, especially if you are trying to keep all the sports on some semblance of schedule together,” Manatee County director of athletics Jason Montgomery said.
“I would think the most realistic option is Option 3. One of the most important things is we want to play, but we need to play with the ability to have fans in the stands.
“I would rather push it a little further and shorten the sports seasons a little and have playoffs with as much of the state as you possibly can, than state prematurely and not being able to do those things.”
Here’s how a season could look for football teams:
The first regular season game would be played Sept. 11. Teams would play five games before a state series commitment date (Oct. 12) when classes would be re-drawn. The smallest one-third of teams, based on population, would go into Class 2A to 4A. The top two-thirds would go into Classes 5A to 8A. After that, there there would be four more weeks of a nine-game regular season with no off week.
Class 2A to 4A would play a normal postseason with three rounds of regionals, a state semifinal and state final as part of a 32-team bracket on Nov. 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 10-12.
In Class 5A to 8A, there would be a week of play-in games before the three rounds of regionals and the state semifinals and final. Dates would be Nov. 13 (play-in games), Nov. 20, 27 and Dec. 4 (regionals), Dec. 10-12 (state semis) and Dec. 17-19 (state finals).
All teams who declare to play in the state series will earn a playoff spot and no district champions would be crowned. There would not be a rankings system. Teams would be determined by a blind draw on Oct. 26 and home teams would be determined by a flip of the coin. If a team loses in the first three rounds of the playoffs, they can play exhibition games up to Dec. 5.
The football kickoff classic and first two weeks of the regular season would be canceled.