NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Even if Tennessee schools are running only virtual classes, they will be allowed to compete athletically in the 2020-21 school year.

The TSSAA’s Board of Control voted to pass a broad range of new rules to deal with COVID-19 in the coming school year. Allowing virtual schools and athletes to participate passed unanimously.

Other rules that were passed include:

  • Daily temperature checks for athletes. If they have a temperature over 100.4 they will be sent home immediately and not allowed to return until they are cleared of COVID-19 or can prove it did not case the fever.
  • Fans attending games must wear masks.
  • Everyone who enters a game venue, players, coaches, officials, administrators, fans, will have their temperature checked before entering and they will not be allowed if it exceeds 100.4.
  • Schools are “encouraged” to limit fan attendance to be compliant with social distancing. They are also encouraging no concessions at games.
  • Teams that are forced to miss games because of COVID-19 outbreaks will not receive a loss, but if it happens in the post season they will be eliminated. Healthy teams will be awarded victories when their opponent can not play because of an outbreak.

The board also approved contingency schedules for Girls Soccer and Boys Football in the wake of the Governor’s State of Emergency order that runs through the end of August.

If the order is not lifted before August 10 the season will be extended by two weeks with the championships being held November 11-14.

Football got a lot more complicated. They were considering four options, but Wednesday a fifth was presented and approved.

The “Option 2-Hybrid” plan. Matthew Gilliespie of the TSSAA described it as a “rolling schedule” that allows for the TSSAA to adjust on the fly if the Governor lifts the order. It would eliminate non-region games and reschedule region games each week the order holds in August. If the order holds until August 30th they would pick up the Option 2 plan which calls for an 8 game season with 16 playoff teams in each bracket.

It’s a season of change for football. From the NFL to high school, News 2 digs deeper into the impact COVID-19 is having on the game.
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