LHSAA holds firm on August 3 start date for football practices

LHSAA holds firm on August 3 start date for football practices
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KPLC) - LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine issued a memo to all member schools Monday outlining information about the start of the 2020 football season. Bonine said despite the state still being in Phase Two of reopening through August 7, the LHSAA will keep its original start date for fall football practice.

“Some felt as though we should push the start date back to August 13th, however, after review, conversations with my Section III colleagues and other consultations, I have decided to keep the August 3rd start date as initially advertised,” said Bonine in the memo. “I felt it was imperative that a communication as such be sent out to all LHSAA Member Schools providing clear expectations in terms of equipment and activities allowable during Phase [Two].”

LHSAA member schools will still be operating under the “summer rules” time frame of the sports calendar until the target date.

Bonine outlined the August 3 start date for practice is not mandatory for school systems, and if a parish chooses to wait until Aug. 13, he doesn’t believe it would put student-athletes at a disadvantage.

“Until Louisiana gets into Phase [Three] and establishes a positive trend as it relates to the virus, the start of the regular football season, including but not limited to; full contact, scrimmages, jamborees and eventually the beginning of interscholastic competitions will inevitably be adjusted,” said Bonine. “All of us here at the offices of the LHSAA are very much aware of the challenges that lay ahead for [schools] as you prepare to open your schools in compliance with any/all minimum COVID safety standards set forth by BESE (Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education).”

Bonine closed the memo with a message of optimism about the upcoming season.

“It is our hope we all do our part to ensure the positive progress for the sport of football and all fall sports during these unusual times,” said Bonine. “We can and must do this together so we can move forward accordingly with student and staff safety in mind at all times.”

Bonine outlined usable equipment and activities during the upcoming weeks in the information below.

Summer Rules: Expires August 9, 2020

• Allow for the use of helmets and appropriate footwear only

• Groupings of 25 individuals (indoors and outdoors) are allowed, including coaches and staff

• Indoor groupings must follow social distancing. If an indoor space does not allow for adequate social distancing between groups, grouping numbers will need to be reduced for those indoor spaces

• Multiple groups of 25 individuals can practice outdoors, as long as there is no contact between groups or mixing of groups

August 3, 2020

• Allow the use of helmets and appropriate footwear only

• Allow the use of Hand Shields and Pop Up Dummies

• Allow the use of ball-handling exchange drills

• Allow the use of 7 on 7 intra-squad / no contact

• Groupings of 25 individuals (indoors and outdoors) are allowed, including coaches and staff

• Indoor groupings must follow social distancing. If an indoor space does not allow for adequate social distancing between groups, grouping numbers will need to be reduced for those indoor spaces

• Multiple groups of 25 individuals can practice outdoors, as long as there is no contact between groups or mixing of groups

August 6, 2020 - following a three-day acclimation period

• Allow the use of helmets, shoulder pads and appropriate footwear only

• Allow the use of Hand Shields and Pop Up Dummies

• Allow the use of ball-handling exchange drills

• Allow the use of 7 on 7 intra-squad / no contact

• Groupings of 25 individuals (indoors and outdoors) are allowed, including coaches and staff

• Indoor groupings must follow social distancing. If an indoor space does not allow for adequate social distancing between groups, grouping numbers will need to be reduced for those indoor spaces

• Multiple groups of 25 individuals can practice outdoors, as long as there is no contact between groups or mixing of groups

Once the state reaches Phase Three of Reopening

• Allow the use of helmets, shoulder pads and appropriate footwear only

• Allow the use of all sleds, hand shields, pop up dummies and tackling wheel

• Allow the use of ball-handling exchange drills

• Allow the use of 7 on 7 intra-squad / no contact

• Groupings of 25 / 50 (TBD) individuals (indoors and outdoors) are allowed, including coaches and staff

• Indoor groupings must follow social distancing. If an indoor space does not allow for adequate social distancing between groups, grouping numbers will need to be reduced for those indoor spaces

• Multiple groups of 25 /50 (TBD) individuals can practice outdoors, as long as there is no contact between groups or mixing of groups

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