Executive order paves way for fall high school sports to start on time

By , Daily Memphian Updated: July 28, 2020 7:03 PM CT | Published: July 28, 2020 4:59 PM CT

Gov. Bill Lee has paved the way for high school sports to start on time this fall.

In a Tuesday afternoon news conference discussing the re-opening of schools around the state, Lee said he would issue Executive Order No. 55, which would allow full-contact practice to resume.

The fall sports that were affected by the full-contact ban were football and girls soccer. Boys and girls basketball also fall under the same category.

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Lee added that the order is contingent on member schools adhering to the TSSAA guidelines regarding coronavirus safety measures and containment.

Those guidelines are posted on the TSSAA website and include: temperature checks for all players, coaches and team personnel prior to practice; weekly COVID-19 screening questionnaires for teams; and limits on attendance at games and concession-stand sales.

Lee added that the county health departments also had to approve the measure if they had restrictions in place previously. Last Friday, the Shelby County Health Department directive stated “High risk sports … should follow safety measures contained in any directive and any protocols (or) guidance provided by the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Health and the CDC.”

Last week, the TSSAA approved contingency plans in the event the governor did not rescind the order in time for teams to have three weeks of contact practice prior to the start of the season.

The first official day of fall sports is set for Aug. 17, with the first football Friday of the season on Aug. 21.


TSSAA High School Football High School Girls Soccer Gov. Bill Lee COVID-19 testing
John Varlas

John Varlas

John Varlas is a lifelong Memphian who has covered high school sports in various capacities for over 20 years.


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