MELBOURNE, Fla. - The Board of Directors of the Florida High School Athletics Association FHSAA) held a Zoom meeting on Thursday.
They talked about how to safely get kids back into the sports they love as the coronavirus looms -- a daunting task when you consider the bigger national picture.
Ivy League sports are on hold until at least January. The NBA is reconsidering its special season in Florida. One of the big problems that needs to be sorted out is that the different districts are dealing with different numbers. For instance in Brevard County, COVID-19 is not the same as it is in Broward County, and health guidelines vary from county to county.
The FHSAA is trying to make a plan, but it likely will not be one-size-fits-all. The organization is hoping that practice for sports can begin on July 27. Then games are set to start on August 20. However, Florida is seeing thousands of new COVID-19 cases daily. Some parents are concerned about team sports resuming.
“The life skills for the kids are very important...you see where we are now in this country...and with sports, you’re able to bridge those gaps a lot more,” said Corey Williams, founder of the Space Coast Stars semi-pro basketball team.
Williams partnered with the Orlando Magic and launched the Junior Magic league which works with kids from second to tenth grade. Williams said some of the measures he’s implemented would make sense in schools.
“We make sure the players' hands are sanitized, after every time out and in between games. Then we wipe down the seats. And no more high-fiving...you have to go ahead and let players know, ‘Good game man!‘ from afar,” Williams said.
Williams predicts temperature checks before any type of game will become a standard operating procedure. Williams hopes parents won’t let their fear cause them to keep their kids off the teams that can shape who they become as adults.
“You’ve got to have communication, teamwork, and accountability that all ties into sports,” Williams said.
The AAU Junior Olympics are set to be held in Brevard County the last week of July and into the first week of August.The covid protocol in those games could give the state some new ideas and new insight.One measure that has already been decided upon is that spectators in the stands will be asked to wear masks.