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AHSAA says high school fall sports will start as scheduled

MADISON Local school students are staying home- local student-athletes are not.

The latest decision among the Madison City Schools is to have stay-home virtual school the first nine weeks of the upcoming 2020-2021 school year while athletics for the fall sports can continue as planned and open their season on schedule, a decision also passed by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

The AHSAA announced the approval of its Return to Play “Best Practices” guidelines and reaffirmed plans to start fall sports on time. Practices can begin as early as July 27 with the first contest for all fall sports set for Aug. 20. The fall sports include football, volleyball, cross country and swimming and diving.

Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the AHSAA, said, “The purpose of the Return to Play document is to offer the best practices in order to commence the 2020-2021 school year athletic seasons as scheduled and as safely as possible.” In previous remarks, Savarese indicated the AHSAA wanted to protect the spring sports by not moving fall sports to a springtime schedule as many student-athletes play multiple sports during a given school year.

The Madison City Schools, along with both the Madison County and Huntsville City school systems, decided to use a virtual teaching method the first nine weeks of the school year and then make a decision at a later date about the remainder of the school schedule. Extra-curricular activities within the local schools will follow guidelines set forth by the Madison School Board with safety for both the students and teachers/coaches a priority during this current COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to thank this Central Board in Alabama for having the courage to do the right thing,” added Savarese. “Moving forward, this is a great day for our association.”

The AHSAA also indicated it has decided to postpone the Instant Replay Experiment to the 2021 season as a result of COVID-19.

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