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GHSA targeting 'restricted' return to high school sports in June

No decisions have been made, but the GHSA is planning for when student-athletes can resume activities.

ATLANTA — As Georgia continues to open during the COVID-19 outbreak, questions surrounding high school summer and fall sports are rising. 

GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines told 11Alive that it is still too early to make any decisions about summer sports, despite Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp allowing camps in Georgia to open with certain restrictions. However, Hines said they are targeting June as a time when they hope to allow school sports to resume in a "restricted, measured way."

"There is no date set because there is a lot of time and information to gather prior to putting forth a proposal. For now, we are hopeful to be able to return soon and safely," Hines said.

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Hines said he will seek approval from the Board of Trustees when he feels it is safe for activities to resume, but does not know when that may happen. He anticipates the decision will occur either through a Zoom meeting or email vote. 

Hines and the GHSA shut down all high school sports when Kemp closed schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. That order lasts through May.

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In June, summer activities and football workouts are typically allowed to start, but football practices sanctioned by the GHSA don't begin until late July.  

While the GHSA has not published football schedules for the 2020-21 season, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the schedules have been made and finalized. 

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When the GHSA allows for activities to resume, schools still will have options on how quickly they open back up. The GHSA will have stipulations for opening that include, "Social distancing, reduced numbers of athletes and coaches per session, disinfecting facilities as well as standard hygiene practices will certainly be a part of any return to sport training," Hines said in a statement on May 6.