During its annual summer meeting in Montgomery, the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Central Board of Control approved the AHSAA’s Return to Play ‘Best Practices’ recommended guidelines on Wednesday, July 22 while reaffirming plans to start fall sports on time.
Fall sports teams have the option to begin fall workouts on July 27 with the first week used by football for acclimation purposes only with helmets and shorts only. The other fall sports – volleyball, cross country and swimming and diving – can use the first week for acclimation and tryouts. Schools not choosing that option may start fall practice on August 3. The first contest can be August 20.
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese praised the central board for its leadership and commitment providing member schools the tools to return to play as safely as possible.
“The purpose of the Return to Play document is to offer AHSAA member schools best practices in order to commence the 2020-21 school year athletic seasons as scheduled and as safely as possible,” he said.
The AHSAA has planned a virtual press conference Thursday at 1 p.m. to discuss details of the Return to Play ‘Best Practices’ document.
The central board also approved amending the AHSAA Constitution concerning the district board makeup, central board makeup and bi-districts and the central board rotations to guarantee no person shall be discriminated against based on gender, race or religion. The Merger Act guaranteed specific representation for AHSAA and AIAA members. The new language provides representatives of the AHSAA and AIAA to each have equal opportunity at all positions of management.
“I want to thank this central board for having the courage to do the right thing,” said Savarese. “Moving forward, this is a great day for our association.”
The board also waived member school dues for the 30th consecutive year for a savings of approximately $84,000 for the schools for the coming school year and a total savings of approximately $2.4 million dollars for the AHSAA’s 416 high schools and 336 middle/junior high schools since 1991-92.
In other action, the AHSAA Central Board reviewed the Cash and Current AHSAA assets; approved the 2019-20 AHSAA and AHAADCA financial statements; approved the AHSAA and AHSADCA 2020-21 budgets; approved AHSAA insurance coverages; tabled the Revenue Share Amount for the 2019-20 school year; approved all 2020-21 Publications and heard a report on the digital access publication plan from AHSAA Assistant Director Kim Vickers; and approved a request to postpone the Instant Replay Experiment to the 2021 season as a result of COVID 19.