GHSA Approves Schools to Start Conditioning…with Restrictions

The Georgia High School Association Board of Trustees met this afternoon and approved member schools to begin conditioning programs on June 8th for Fall sports with the following requirements:

1) Workouts are conditioning only, no balls or sport specific equipment.
2) Member schools should prepare an Infectious Disease Prevention Plan prior to staff and athletes returning for conditioning.
3) It is recommended that staff and athletes are screened before each workout.
4) Groups of 20 (including coaches) for workouts per sport, at any given time at the facility.
5) Groups should be the same individuals (including coaches) for each session to limit exposure. Students or coaches cannot change groups.
6) No use of the locker room or shower facilities. Students should report dressed for condition.
7) Weight equipment should be cleaned and sanitized between use of each student.
8) Hand sanitizer should be plentiful and readily available.
9) Each student should have their own personal water bottles. No use of water fountains.
10) Side spots only in weight training, safety bars are preferred.
11) Social distancing should be adhered to always and masks/face covering are recommended for the weight room.
12) At least 15 minutes should be scheduled between groups to allow disinfecting the facility.
13) There is no competition allowed between schools.
14) No visitors are allowed at conditioning sessions.

Stephens County Head Football Coach Wesley Tankersley says that despite the requirements it will be great to work with the players again. “ We are just excited to get back on the field and just be around our players. I’m sure I can speak for all of the coaches at the high school, whatever the sport, that has been the hardest part being away from the guys and the girls. Obviously, there are restrictions and that is fine. We are just happy to get back at it a little bit.”

Tankersley says this will be a change from past seasons in the summer months. “In a normal year you can touch the football. In a normal year you are lifting and conditioning about half the time, and you are working with the football half the time. So that aspect will probably be the biggest difference.”

The original date brought forth was June 1st, but after much discussion the GHSA Board decided that June 8th would give the schools more time to prepare.

Tankersley says that the players have been participating in a different type of workout. “We are ending up our virtual spring practice. So everyday we have been giving the kids things that they need to learn, quizzes, and stuff that they need to watch for film. We have been having team meetings every night to go over all of that and position meetings the last couple of weeks.”

The GHSA will make it clear to member schools that Schools or School Systems may be more restrictive than the GHSA, but not less. The GHSA also says that the restrictions and recommendations are fluid and subject to change, and that safety must be the top priority.