Governor Bill Lee issues exemption for contact sports to resume

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has issued executive order 55, which will allow contact sports to resume provided that they follow TSSAA Guidelines.

Previously, Lee’s executive order called for no contact sports with exceptions for collegiate and professional sports working under their governing bodies. This order will allow schools to return to the field under TSSAA guidance.

Last week, TSSAA passed a hybrid contingency plan that would limit the football season if the governor’s office did not issue an exemption. However, because an exemption has been issued before Aug. 4, that means that high school football will be able to start its season on time. Soccer can also begin on time.

Coffee County Central football is scheduled to open the 2020 football season Aug. 21 at home against Franklin County. When football season begins, Thunder Radio will be on hand for our 63rd consecutive year of bringing you Red Raider football on the air.

Contact may also take place in girls soccer practice. The date of the first contest remains as scheduled on Aug. 17 with state championships to be Oct. 28-31.

Meanwhile, for football, teams were allowed to begin heat acclimation on July 20. Each athlete must complete heat acclimation with two days of helmets only and three days in helmets and shoulder pads before full pads are permitted.

Below are guidelines teams must follow under TSSAA guidance:

Players, coaches and personnel will have to take a temperature check prior to practice every day. Any person with a temperature 100.4 or higher will be required to go home immediately and cannot return without a negative COVID-19 test or verification from a doctor that the temperature wasn’t a cause of COVID-19.

• No coach, player or personnel can compete without a COVID-19 questionnaire completed.

• There will be no scrimmages for all fall sports, jamborees or seven-on-seven contests. Scrimmages must be limited to intrasquad.

• Fans entering a facility must have temperatures taken (with exception given to children 2 and younger). The same guidelines that are in place for players and coaches remain. Temperature checklists must be posted prominently.

• Member schools must require fans to wear face coverings while attending events.

• Concession stands will not be prohibited but will be discouraged, with options that would ensure social distancing recommended.

• Coaches must complete a NHFS COVID-19 course, which will be provided free.

• While no exact figure was set, schools were urged to offer limited seating (from a third to a quarter capacity) during events, posting areas that were not available.