A committee of Florida high school athletic directors is recommending pushing the start of the fall sports season back to December due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to North Broward Prep athletic director and committee member Mike Ostrowski. Before the pandemic, high school football season was set to start Aug. 20.
The Athletic Directors Advisory Committee, which met Wednesday morning, was asked by the Florida High School Athletic Association to choose between three schedule options the FHSAA laid out. The majority of athletic directors selected the latest option, which would allow football and other fall sports to practice starting on Nov. 30, with football games beginning on Dec. 14.
Although eight of the 15 athletic directors on the committee wanted the latest option, known as Option 3, their decision is only a recommendation. The FHSAA Board of Directors will take the recommendation from the ADAC, the sports advisory committees, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and other committees when it meets to decide the fate of fall sports on Aug. 14, Ostrowski said.
The FHSAA’s Football Advisory Committee met last week and recommended a different proposal, known as Option 1, which would allow high school sports to begin practices on Aug. 24 and start playing games on Sept. 11. Those are the same dates the Board of Directors set at their previous meeting on July 23 before considering more discussion on delaying the season further.
The schedule the majority of the athletic directors favored on Wednesday, Option 3, would reshape high school sports in Florida for the 2020-21 year. After fall sports, which also include girls volleyball and cross country, began on Dec. 14 under Option 3, the regular season would conclude Jan. 23. After that would be playoffs and eventually the state finals — and the postseason formats could be adjusted.
Option 3 would also delay the start of winter and spring sports and shorten their seasons. Winter sports practices would be delayed until Feb. 15, with a season start date of March 1 and end date of April 3. Spring sports would begin practices on April 26, begin their regular seasons on May 10 and conclude their regular seasons on June 12. The entire sports calendar would wrap up by June 26.