TSSAA presents board of directors with 3 options for high school football season

Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress met with the association’s board of directors Wednesday to present options for the 2020 high school football season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, while also laying out plans for fall sports.

Following the dead period set to end Sunday, July 5, volleyball, golf and cross country are permitted to start their seasons as scheduled for the fall, noting those sports are not considered in the “high risk” category.

The TSSAA is looking at adaptations for the fall girls’ soccer and football season.

Childress detailed three options for football for the board. The options cover Division I (public schools) and Division II (private schools).

In each of the three options, the team would commence contact practice Aug. 30, pending Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order expires on Aug. 29. Week 1 of the high school football season would begin on Sept. 18. 

“Delaying the season in football is not as easy as it is for us to adjust as girls’ soccer,” Childress explained.

Option 1: 

  • Teams would play a seven-game regular season.
  • TSSAA would scrap each teams current schedule and set region schedules for all member schools.
  • The postseason would start on time and feature a 32-team postseason bracket.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play two additional games to play a nine-game season. 

Option 2: 

  • Teams would play an eight-game regular season.
  • TSSAA would scrap each teams current schedule and set region schedules for all member schools.
  • One week of the postseason would be cut out and feature a 16-team postseason bracket.
  • Only region champs and region runner-ups would qualify for the playoffs.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play two additional games to play a 10-game schedule.

Option 3: 

  • Teams would play the normal nine-game regular season.
  • Teams would keep their current schedules.
  • Two weeks of the postseason would be cut out and feature an eight-team postseason bracket
  • Only region champions would qualify for the playoffs and the postseason would start in the quarterfinals.
  • For teams that do not make the postseason, there would be the option to play one additional game to play a 10-game schedule. This addition of a game is already in the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association bylaws for teams that have a non-losing record and fail to qualify for the playoffs.

The TSSAA board of directors was presented with a fourth option that included not having a postseason, but Childress added that it has been an unpopular option. Childress encouraged the board to make a decision as to which option they’d like to pursue by July 8.

The possibility of swapping springs sports to the fall and vice versa was looked but complications of turning around the next year and playing football in back-to-back seasons posed issues as well as issues with teams playing games against out-of-state schools.

For girls’ soccer, Childress said the TSSAA is looking at the possibility of extending the season. Pending the Governor’s order expires on Aug. 29, the TSSAA has already been in contact with sites where championships are held to potentially move those dates back.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories