Florida Votes to Move Forward with High School Sports as Scheduled

The Florida High School Athletic Association decided in its Board of Directors meeting on Monday to carry forward with its planned 2020-2021 high school athletics season. This falls in line with the policies of the broader state government, which has been among the most resistant to any coronavirus-related shutdowns so far.

Swimming & diving is a fall sport in Florida, where the state has one of the first state championship meets in the country.

The meeting on Monday, a five-hour event via zoom, was prompted by the increasing counts of positive coronavirus cases in the state, which have been rising since early June. Over the last 7 days, Florida is averaging around 11,000 new positive tests per day. The last 3 weeks have also seen a rise in the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The proposal approved by the board will allow teams to begin practicing on July 27 and hold “preseason classics” the week of August 10th. The board voted down 3 proposals that would have pushed the start of practices back until August 10, and also went against the advice of its own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC).

The SMAC recommended specifically that football and volleyball, which it views as “high risk sports,” delay the start of practices.

Individual schools will still have the prerogative to delay the start of their teams’ sports season if they desire. Districts will make decisions about coronavirus testing, crowd sizes, and what happens when an athlete tests positive.

On Friday, the board will follow up with another meeting to review the information from the SMAC, and at that time will welcome input from the public.

After hours of negotiation, some flexibility was given to how teams end their seasons. For schools that want to progress through the normal state series, they will have a standard regular season and playoff schedule. Other schools will have the option to skip the state series and continue what would essentially be an extended regular season through the playoff periods. This could be an option in some of the hardest-hit areas of the state that might not begin competition until later in the year.

2020 Florida High School Swimming & Diving Calendar

Regular Season

  • First Practice Date – July 27
  • Meet Schedules Due – August 3
  • Preseason Classic Competitions – August 10-15
  • First Regular Season Meet Date – August 17
  • Last Regular Season Playing Date for All Classes – October 17 (presuming participation in state series)

Classes 1A & 2A State Series

  • Districts – October 26-31, 2020
  • Regionals – November 2-7, 2020
  • November 13-14, 2020

Classes 3A & 4A State Series

  • Districts – October 19-24, 2020
  • Regionals – October 26-31, 2020
  • State – November 6-7, 2020

Other States

As the beginning of school years across the country draw nearer, high school state associations are rolling out decisions about fall sports across the country this week.

  • California announced on Monday that it would push all of its sports until after the conclusion of the fall semester.
  • The GHSA in Georgia announced via a 12-0 vote that it would postpone football by 2 weeks, while other sports remain on schedule. That means that the football regular season will begin September 4 instead of August 21. After an 8-4 vote against remaining on schedule, Jasper Jewell, a member of the board and the athletic director of Atlantic Public Schools, said he was afraid that his district might cancel fall sports altogether if the season wasn’t delayed. That, and other discussions, wound up pushing unanimous support toward a two-week delay.
  • South Carolina and North Carolina both postponed their fall high school sports schedules until September last week. South Carolina also has a very early State Championship meet, scheduled for early October.

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HISWIMCOACH

Well done by Florida. Leadership takes a bold vision sometimes and they are showing it. Happy for the kids!
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-known-case-of-teacher-catching-coronavirus-from-pupils-says-scientist-3zk5g2x6z

Sam

great comment. Florida is the hotspot of the World, hospitals are at capacity and they do all they can to make it worse. There is nothing more unpatriotic than killing 1000s of people just to protect one unpatriotic idiot.

HISWIMCOACH

According to this HHS chart, the hospitals were at 76.5% capacity yesterday Sam.
https://mobile.twitter.com/justin_hart/status/1285350690068459520

John

that’s concerning

Swimmer A

HISWIMCOACH the following county-by-county of Florida ICU beds is extremely concerning. I don’t know how in the world you look at this positively:

https://www.wpbf.com/article/florida-coronavirus-map-hospital-beds-july-21/33379528#

DrSwimPhil

That’s extremely misleading. How many are covid-related? Don’t forget that hospitals still have to find a way to make $.

Corn Pop

ICUs have to be at high occupancy If they want to retain skilled staff..

Why exactly are these Covid ppl more deserving of ICU than.an accident victim ? ( even if beds are freed by postponing scheduled s surgeries).

Gold on the Banner

Sam, first really no place to be talking about death. This is a swimming website founded on providing swimming news and community. Secondly, as a swim community, it’s everyone’s part to come together to figure out how to continue this amazing sport with the best safety protocol. I’d say the only “unpatriotic” thing is your lack of support for those swimmers in Florida High Schools hoping to have a season. #SamHatesHSSwimmers

Swimmer A

Dude what are you smoking? Yes we should absolutely be talking about deaths when discussing the swim season during a pandemic.

Sid Frisco

Sports like swim provide a path forward. A safe return to low risk activities (yes including some high school sports) can pave the way for a safer return to more activities. I am not suggesting throw the flood gates open but blanket decisions and shutting down all sports is ridiculous. COVID isn’t magically going to vanish after months of social distancing. We have to move forward. High School swim in Florida is a great start.

Hank Monroe

There’s always this @SAM. Month by month stats of infections in Florida where the death rate was 6.8% in April and is down to 0.3% in July.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Edi_EmfU4AE7Pp1?format=png&name=small

Sam

by bold vision you mean killing thousands of more people?

HISWIMCOACH

Please explain how this action will kill thousands of people. Show me any data that you have that high school sports (or professional sports) have contributed to Covid spread.

Keep politics out of it, I understand you don’t like Desantis. That’s not pertinent to this particular discussion.

Sam

any gathering contributes to covid spread. We are in the spike EXACTLY because people started to hang out in large groups, no distancing. If I need to google that for you, you are living under a rock. And bringing politician X into it by quoting how his actions killed thousands of people is not politicizing it. It’s acknowledging facts.

HISWIMCOACH

You make many assumptions. Please read this statement:
Districts will make decisions about coronavirus testing, crowd sizes, and what happens when an athlete tests positive.

How do you know Florida won’t put in good guidelines.

Also, you still seem to forget Florida has outperformed many states overall in their performance. Let’s just go by the numbers Sam. After all, this isn’t political.

Ol' Longhorn

You’re right. They’re outperforming everyone. Congrats on the epicenter tag.

PARTICIPANT RIBBON

Isn’t the death rate in Florida around 1.4%? That’s actually well below the national or global averages.
https://bing.com/covid/local/florida_unitedstates

Hank Monroe

I’ll take it a step further @Ribbon, June death rate in Florida was 0.99% and so far in July 0.3%

Ol' Longhorn

1) Florida sure is outperforming everyone — in all the wrong metrics right now. They’re making Texas look smart by comparison, which is quite the achievement.
2) “How do you know Florida won’t put in good guidelines.” Because… Florida. Led by the guy that proclaimed mission accomplished and berated all the critics a month ago. That ain’t politics, those are facts. He looks like a deer in the headlights now at his press briefings.

PsychoDad

DeSantis looks like an extra from Sopranos that could not get a bigger part becuse he was too stupid.

Meeeeeee

a ‘spike’ with far fewer hospitalizations and deaths vs. NY, NJ, etc. FL has done it right. Lockdowns do not work. Mitigation works to flatten the curve which is what they have done. Nothing short of a vaccine with squash the curve.

SwimMom

Except if you look at Europe, which proves you wrong.

Irish Ringer

UK seems to have the highest death rate of any country at 15.3%. Is that what SWIMMOM was referring too?
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

HISWIMCOACH

Here’s one that will make your head spin Sam:
https://mobile.twitter.com/yinonw/status/1284936321992028160

All under very strict lockdowns.

I’m not suggesting a free for all but doing sports with regulations for crowds is a no brainer. It’s already happening in many places on the club level is something you should realize.

Ol' Longhorn

Hilarious. First subtweet of it from a college statistics professor says “This graph is misleading. These differences can be explained because of state/country differences of populations, pop. density, %essential workers, international/interstate travel, %public transportation, and the logic of exponential spread. Show a graph controling these factors.” But hey, science.

Rookie

Even more hilarious…your college professor gets blown out of the water when he can’t substantiate his claims a few tweets later

swimmerswammer

That’s now how science works. If you post a study and imply a connection (they are implying that social distancing has no effect on the spread and fatality of disease) then others come in and pick apart the methodology and potential confounding factors. If you are able to address those concerns then the idea gains validity. When others reproduce the results and control for those concerns and confounding factors it gradually becomes more accepted. It’s a process. This is what has happened to show that mask-use and social distancing prevent the spread: Repeated studies and observations in many different places and under different circumstances , etc., etc. Offering up a contorted view of reality and then countering all criticisms by… Read more »

SRS

stay inside sam!

Justin Thompson

There are at least 7 who comment regularly about how dangerous covid is and the world is in peril. Then there’s HISWIMCOACH who never wavers and is providing data without all the snark. The coach is becoming a legend in the comments.

HISWIMCOACH

I had two boys go 56s in the 100 breast and at an intersquad meet last weekend. I’d rather be a legend for my coaching (actually, I’d rather these boys have the opportunities to become legends this fall!!).

Irish Ringer

Wow, two 56s is fabulous, congrats coach!

Theswammer

To be fair, neither side has statistics within this country that shows if this is going to be harmful or not. Schools have been out since March and nobody has been back full time to give the proper data to show if this is the right decision or not. So Ofcourse he can’t give you statistics. Just like you can’t give statistics that this is a good idea.

But, Florida is carrying a high case count and adding school/sports into the mix will indeed increase the possibility of spread. There’s no sound argument that says that going back to school/sports will slow this down.

Greg

I hope you are right, but I’m not sure with the current conditions in Florida it is the correct call.

With everything in life, people will line up on one side of a decision and people will line up on the opposite side. Curious how this will play out as not only is the health vs wealth dynamic present, but also an inherit attribute of most coaches; loyalty and commitment to the job / athletes over personal health and time. While some positions are full-time, I believe most high school coaches are part-time leading me to believe that there may be some resignations due to an increase in health concerns and less reliance upon wealth.

anonymous

Arizona summer school teacher died.

Anon

Florida would

Dudeman

My exact thought when I read the title was “of course they did”

B1Guy!

When you hear a crazy story it’s either in Florida or Wisconsin!

Meeeeeee

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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