TSSAA: Quarantine rules apply to football playoffs, team would be eliminated

Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – High school football in the state of Tennessee follows the CDC’s guidelines for coming in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

If a school temporarily shuts down due to an increase in cases or someone on the team test positive, the team as a whole has to quarantine for two weeks.

Many games have been postponed and moved around during the regular season because of this, but teams have not been punished with losses.

TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said on a typical Friday about 130-140 games are scheduled and each week about 10-15 were postponed. It’s a hassle, but there has always been time to make games up.

With two weeks left in the regular season, what happens during the playoffs?

“Once we start our playoffs, if we have a team who has to quarantine for two weeks, unfortunately, that team will just be out of the playoffs,” said Childress. “There’s no other way to do it and be fair. That team will be out, we’ll put a bye in the bracket and we’ll continue to move forward with the playoffs.”

If a team can’t play during the playoffs, it wouldn’t just end their post-season run, it would also end their season. A number of things could happen for a team to have to quarantine and that’s part of the challenge.

“What we do not know is was it quarantine because of direct contact with a student athlete who actually contracted the virus or was it something that effected the team because of the school having to quarantine?”

Meaning, a school facing a temporary shut down due to an increase in COVID-19 cases could end the season for the football team.

Childress says the hope is it doesn’t get to that point, but realistically says he’s hoping for just minimal disruption. The fear is always there, but based on the current COVID-19 numbers in Tennessee, the anxiety level is heightened.

“I think when we start the playoffs our big concern right now is the rise in cases we’ve seen across our state. I know everyone is, so we have to keep doing the work. We can’t let our guard down and hopefully we’ll get to Cookeville with our State Championships.”

The Blue Cross Bowl State Championships are scheduled for December 3-5 at Tennessee Tech.

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