With the start of the 2020 cross country season quickly approaching, the state of the season in Florida is in a coronavirus purgatory -- potential cancellations and drastic changes looming in the background.
Early this June, Gov. Ron Desantis spoke to a plan that called for K-12 schools to reopen at "full capacity," in August, as planned. This unveiled plan, however, gave individual school boards the choice on how they wish to move forward. Palm Beach County answered that call with a plan to start the school year virtually.
The state is still on track to host NBA games and the AAU Junior Olympic Games in a few short weeks, but where does this leave the future of high school sports this fall?
The Florida High School Athletic Association has held three Fall Sports Task Force meetings over the summer, with a Board of Directors meeting scheduled to be conducted via Zoom on Monday, July 20th at 5 p.m.
The only thing on the agenda? Discuss the proposal submitted by the Fall Sports Task Force -- a proposal whose adoption Executive Director, George Tomyn, does not recommend.
According to the proposal, the head of each school is to notify the FHSAA office of its starting date for every fall sport and have the FHSAA reclassify schools into three divisions, taking the student population into consideration. However, if it is found the majority of schools begin practice during a similar time frame, all classifications will remain the same with no changes to the original plan.
While this proposal comes up with a plan for practice and competition dates, there is no recommended protocol for how to conduct actual competitions, if fall sports season continue as planned.
This has left meet directors, timers, and coaches up to their own devices to come up with potential COVID-19 protocols, should the season continue.
On Wednesday night, Bishop Kenny cross country coach and Cecil Field Summer Classic meet director, Richard Fannin, released their COVID-19 protocol -- listing the responsibility of the coaches, mandatory masks upon entering the meet, limit on headcount, a wave starts and chip timing mats.
The state of Florida -- athletes, coaches, timers, meet directors, and parents-- await the FHSAA's decision on how to proceed this fall during these unprecedented times.