The Georgia High School Association reiterated last week that the high school football regular season is still set to begin on Sept. 4. However, all pre-season scrimmages, which had been set for Aug. 21 and Aug. 28, have now been eliminated.

GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines announced the change following a meeting with his Sports Medicine Advisory Council on Wednesday. The full memo can be found at

The memo stated that football teams and cheerleaders can “continue to practice as outlined in previous guidance so athletes and staff will be in a controlled environment.”

The GHSA Board of Trustees had voted on July 20 to push the start date for the football regular season back from Aug. 21 to Sept. 4. Competition cheerleading will tentatively begin on Nov. 21 with the state finals on Feb. 26-27, 2021.

One-act play, also a GHSA-sanctioned fall activity, has been tentatively pushed back to the spring, but no official start-up date has been announced.

Last week, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the chairman of the Georgia Department of Health, had expressed concerns about football, cheerleading, chorus and band being higher-risk school activities. Band and chorus are not GHSA-sanctioned activities, but one-act play may include singers and/or a chorus.

Thursday’s GHSA memo mentioned concerns over football (“due to high risk and physical contact”), cheerleading (‘‘due to high risk of indoor packed arena(s), which do not allow for social distancing’’) and one-act play (‘‘due to risk of indoor venues and aerosol spray from projection and singers.‘‘)

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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