Gov. Lee to issue executive order allowing contact sports to resume

High School Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday that he will sign an executive order allowing for the return of contact sports, provided that TSSAA requirements are followed.

This means no changes will be made to the 2020 football schedule, according to the TSSAA. Football games will begin Aug. 21.

According to the TSSAA, contact practice will be allowed once the order is signed, however, the regulations adopted by the Board of Control on July 22 are still in place.

“Football teams were allowed to begin heat acclimatization on July 20th. Each athlete must complete heat acclimatization (2 days of helmets only, 3 days in helmets and shoulder pads) before practicing in full equipment, which is now permitted,” the TSSAA said in a news release.

Contact will also be allowed in girls’ soccer practice once the order is signed. The girls’ soccer season will begin Aug. 17.

This comes after the TSSAA Board of Control voted last week on a contingency plan for high school football that stated that no games would be rescheduled if contact practice resumed before Aug. 4.

“We appreciate being able to work with Gov. Lee and his staff on this,” said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA. “I am pleased that we were able to develop some very specific guidelines for every sport that will allow our kids to get out on their fields and fully participate in football and girls’ soccer this fall.”

Non-TSSAA schools will be required to follow equivalent guidelines.

Non-school-sponsored athletics should follow Tennessee Pledge guidelines.

The governor said an update to the Tennessee Pledge guidelines is forthcoming.

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