LHSAA Executive Committee approves return to contact sports

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Kenner Discovery and PJ Strunk
PJ Strunk (right)

As expected Wednesday morning, the LHSAA’s Executive Committee unanimously approved schools returning to contact sports while Louisiana remains under phase two restrictions from the pandemic.

However, the decision does not overrule local city/parish jurisdictions. For example, New Orleans schools have not been cleared for contact sports by Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Dr. Gregory Stewart of Tulane University has provided recommendations to the LHSAA for its member schools regarding practice and team activities leading up to the season set to start October 8. Guidelines also have been formulated for gamedays.

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said the target for attendance at football games is 50 percent of the stadium’s capacity.

In addition, the LHSAA announced that the regular season will now begin the weekend of Oct. 1-3, a week earlier than originally planned, with teams allowed to have a scrimmage the week before. As a result, all schools can now have an eight-game regular season, followed by a full bracket of playoffs, which includes five weeks on the non-select side of the ledger.

After returning from executive session, the executive committee also approved a one-year measure to bring all state championships back under one roof. Last year, the select schools championship games in football and basketball were played at home venues.

Read more from The Advocate.

News Release – Louisiana High School Athletic Association

www.lhsaa.org | www.twitter.com/LHSAAsports | www.facebook.com/LHSAAsports

Executive Committee Votes to Move Forward With Football
LHSAA Executive Director, Eddie Bonine, met with the Louisiana House of Representatives and LHSAA Executive Committee to discuss the 2020 fall football season.

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – On August 25, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the extension of Phase II until September 11, 2020 pushing back the start of the fall football season.

Executive Director, Eddie Bonine, met with the LHSAA Executive Committee today to further discuss the 2020 fall football season after meeting with the Louisiana House of Representatives on Friday, September 4. The Executive Committee voted 22-1 to begin contact sports in LHSAA Competition Stage 1. The LHSAA cannot overturn any government order disallowing the start of contact sports in their parish.

Cross country, swimming and volleyball began competition in Phase II. The Executive Committee approved that Football can begin practice in full pads tomorrow, September 10th. Also on the agenda, the Executive Committee voted to approve a football schedule that includes a scrimmage (9/24 – 9/26), eight games (starting with their week 3 game on 10/1 – 10/3) with a 32 team playoff bracket (beginning 11/27 – 11/28). The 2020 Prep Classic will be held on December 26-28 in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Under Article 4.4.4 in the LHSAA Constitution, the Board approved the select schools participation at the same venues as the non-select schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

“It’s exciting that the LHSAA can contribute to some sort of normality for the students and schools.” said Executive Director, Eddie Bonine.

The LHSAA staff has developed fall sport-specific event guidelines with help from Dr. Stewart, from the Tulane Sports and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, for schools when conducting interscholastic competition. Competition guidelines will be posted in the near future.

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