TSSAA shares options for upcoming football season


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three options for high school football were presented by TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress on Wednesday, to proceed into the 2020 season.

Per Governor Bill Lee’s current COVID-19 State of Emergency Order, contact sports at the high school level aren’t allowed until at least Aug. 29. Those sports include; football, soccer, basketball and wrestling.

If Lee’s order is lifted on time, football practice in Tennessee could return on Aug. 30, with games starting on Sept. 18. Here are the options being discussed:

OPTION 1: A seven-game regular season with the regular 32-team playoff brackets for Division I. The playoffs would start as scheduled. TSSAA would be in charge of setting region schedules, scrapping the original schedule that coaches made.

Teams that did not make the playoffs would be allowed to play two more games for a total of nine games during the season.

OPTION 2: An eight-game season with a 16-team playoff bracket for Division I. Only the region champion and runner-up would make the playoffs.

The first week of the playoffs would be the final week of the regular season. TSSAA would again set the region schedule.

OPTION 3: A nine-game season with an eight-team playoff bracket for Division I. Only the region champion would make the playoffs.

The first two weeks of playoffs would be the final two regular season games. The schools would keep their current schedule with the schedule starting with Week 5, and then going back to play Week 3 games on Nov. 6 and Week 4 games on Nov. 13.

While there was a fourth option of having no state championships, this was something Childress isn’t considering a real possibility. The season would start on Sept. 18 with the schedule as is, and then teams would go back and pick up the other games.

The TSSAA also asked the governor’s office if they might consider putting the TSSAA in the same category with in-state college and professional teams, which are not included in the governor’s executive order.

No decision was made on Wednesday, but the board will reconvene on July 8 where they will likely share a plan.

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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