After earlier in the week saying that they would carry on with the fall season of high school athletics in Florida as scheduled, the FHSAA held an emergency meeting on Thursday where they abruptly changed that plan.
After pressure from many parts of the state, including notably Miami-Dade County, which threatened to consider leaving the FHSAA altogether, the organization that governs most high school sports in the state voted Thursday in favor of postponing the start of all fall sports, including swimming & diving, until at least August 24.
Watch video of the meeting here:
On Monday, after a marathon meeting, the FHSAA Board of Directors voted 10-5 in favor of staying on-schedule for a July 27 start for fall high school sports. That vote came in opposition to the recommendation of the FHSAA’s own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
The new vote, in favor of delaying sports by almost a month, came with an 11-3 vote in favor. The votes against the August 24 date were Bobby Johns, the athletic director at Wewahitchka High School in Gulf County; Richard Finlayson, the principal at Aucilla Christian Academy in Jefferson County; and Randy McDaniel, of the Village Charter Schools.
The FHSAA says that it will hold an in-person follow-up meeting by August 17 to decide if the August 24 date remains feasible or if there needs to be another change in plans.
The delay in starting the fall season means that schools cannot hold tryouts or practices until at least August 24, but that they can continue with general conditioning workouts.
Many schools have already withdrawn from the fall season of high school sports. That includes Pine Crest School in South Florida, who are the defending 2A State Champions in both boys’ and girls’ swimming & diving.
The state of Florida has seen a dramatic rise in new coronavirus cases since early June. Cases have receded slightly from the peak of about 15,300 new cases on July 12. Over the last week, the state has averaged about 10,585 new cases of coronavirus per day. The death toll continues to rise, however: Thursday’s official toll of 173 deaths is a new high for the state, and lifts the 7-day average to 120-per-day.