June 22 will be another step toward a possible normal start to the GHSA fall sports season as the organization announced some revisions to its Coronavirus Guidance Plan on Wednesday.

Starting this Monday, the number of participants in each workout group (players and coaches combined) will be doubled from 25 to 50. The governing body for high school sports in the state had bumped up that number to 25 just over a week ago after originally allowing just 20 in a group when voluntary conditioning workouts were reinstated on June 8.

In addition, teams will finally be allowed to use sports-specific equipment, including balls, during conditioning.

No scrimmaging will be allowed as of yet. However, quarterbacks can throw to receivers, basketball players will be allowed to shoot, softball pitchers can pitch and things of that nature.

All equipment must still be santized between sessions and other safety restrictions, such as social distancing, must remain in place as conditioning continues.

Mandatory workouts for football teams are set to begin on July 27, while the official start of practice for other fall sports is slated for Aug. 1. The GHSA will still implement its annual "Dead Week" from June 28-July 4. Schools are prohibited from participating in voluntary workouts, camps and/or clinics, weight training or competitions during that week.

GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines said the GHSA and the Sports Medicine Advisory Council appreciates the member schools' efforts during the successful implementation of the Coronavirus Guidance Plan.

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

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