The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) announced yesterday evening that it has decided to keep the Aug. 3 start date for high school football ahead of the 2020 season.
In a memo sent to LHSAA member school principals, athletic directors, parish athletic directors, superintendents and head coaches, LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine stated that “Some felt as though we should push the start date back; however, after conversations with my Section III colleagues and other consultations, I (we) have decided to keep the August 3rd start date.”
The decision follows Governor John Bel Edwards’ recent announcement that Louisiana would remain in Phase Two until Aug. 7, which falls beyond the intended start date for football.
In the memo, Bonine clarified that a school or school system may make the decision to not start on Aug. 3.
Bonine said that the start of the regular football season will likely need to be adjusted depending on the state of the virus.
“Also know until Louisiana gets into Phase III and establishes a positive trend as it relates to the virus, the start of the regular football season, including but not limited to full contact, scrimmages, jamborees and eventually the beginning of interscholastic competitions will inevitably be adjusted,” Bonine said.
The Aug. 3 start date will not permit the wearing of shoulder pads. However, teams will be able to participate in “ball handling exchange drills,” seven-on-seven intra-squad drills with no contact and the use of hand shields and pop up dummies.
Groups will be limited to 25 people.
On Aug. 6, the same guidelines will remain, but shoulder pads will be allowed.
When the state enters Phase Three, group sizes will increase to 50 people.
“In closing, it is our hope that we all do our part to ensure the positive progress for the sport of football and all fall sports during these unusual times,” Bonine said. “Let’s work together to move forward and safely reopen high school sports for our student athletes, communities and state.”
View the full memo below: