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TSSAA fall contact sports will start as scheduled under Governor Lee's exemption

Governor Bill Lee allows TSSAA fall contact sports to resume as scheduled.

It’s official. High school fall contact sports will start on time in Tennessee. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Bill Lee announced that he will sign an executive order that will allow TSSAA member schools an exemption to contact sports restrictions. This means girls’ soccer and football will start as originally scheduled.  

"We appreciate being able to work with Gov. Lee and his staff on this,” said TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress. “I am pleased that we were able to develop some very specific guidelines for every sport that will allow our kids to get out on their fields and fully participate in football and girls’ soccer this fall.”

Once the order is signed, girls’ soccer can start contact practice. The date of the first game remains scheduled for August 17th and the state championships will begin on Oct. 28th in Murfreesboro.

As for football, the contingency plan that passed last week by the Board of Control stated that if contact practice could resume prior to Aug. 4th, then no games would be rescheduled. School’s will play their regular 10 game schedule, with the first game on August 21st and the state championships will begin December 3rd in Cookeville.

RELATED: TSSAA Board of Control passes new regulations, contingency plan for high school football, girls' soccer

Although contact practice is now allowed, the regulations and guidelines for fall contact sports set by the TSSAA, remain in place. 

Some of the guidelines include:

- Temperature checks for every player, coach, and staff member at each practice and contest. 

- Temperature checks for fans at each game.

-All players, coaches and team personnel will have to complete a COVID-19 screening of any symptoms before practices and games. 

-Schools are encouraged to limit fan capacity to a percentage that would allow for appropriate social distancing and everyone in attendance will be required to wear a mask.

“This is good news for many kids and their families,” Childress added, “but the reality is that the virus will continue to be with us and we have to be smart about taming the spread. Every adult and every participant in every sport must do their part and follow the guidelines set forth by TSSAA and the Governor’s office to help mitigate these risks.”