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TSSAA discusses fall plan for football, soccer; final vote to be July 8

TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association(TSSAA) Board of Control met in a special-called meeting Wednesday to discuss classification and changes to fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  On Tuesday, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress advised member schools that the fall contact sports, or girls’ soccer and football, would not begin on time. 

On Wednesday, three options were discussed with no final decision reached.   Governor Lee’s Extension of the Emergency Order currently has restricted season preparations for football and girls’ soccer until August 30th.  On Wednesday, the TSSAA intoned that the earliest contest for high school football and girls’ soccer would be September 18th with middle schools opening the season on September 17th or September 24th.    The discussion on classification was tabled.

Options for length of the regular season and playoff possibilities will be studied prior to the next board meeting. 

One option includes beginning football season on Sept. 18 with seven regular season games and five rounds of playoffs. This is three fewer regular season games than normal. However, teams that do not qualify for the playoffs would have the option of adding up to two games to play a more complete schedule. The second option is similar, and would begin football around Sept. 18. This would reduce the playoffs by one week, and would allow teams that do not make the playoffs to add two games. The third option calls for nine regular season games beginning on Sept. 18 and only region champions to make the playoffs – a three week playoff. Teams that do not qualify for playoffs could add one game to complete their season.

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The TSSAA Board of Control is set to meet again on July 7th with the hope of finalizing plans for the season and postseason on that date.  TSSAA officials are in discussions with the governor’s office to better define restrictions on prep athletics.  Director Childress reiterated on Wednesday that the sports of cross country, volleyball and golf are not restricted at this time and that they will follow the regular TSSAA calendar regarding practice dates and the beginning of their season.  As Manchester’s only hometown station, Thunder Radio will once again bring you live broadcasts of Coffee County CHS, Coffee County Middle School and Westwood Middle School volleyball this fall.   When soccer and football return, we will bring you those broadcasts continuing our unparalleled sports broadcast tradition.

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