Never doubt Florida to do what shouldn’t be done during the throes of a pandemic. On the same day, California announced it would delay its prep fall sports schedule until December or January, the powers that be in the Sunshine State are going full-speed ahead with the high school season, with football practice starting July 27.
The six Florida High School Athletic Association fall sports: football, volleyball, bowling, cross country, golf, and swimming, the opening to the calendar remains unchanged.
After hearing from the chair of its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted to keep the current sports calendar in place despite rising coronavirus cases in the state.
The board voted 10-5 to maintain the July 27 start date for fall sports teams to begin practicing despite the chair of the SMAC, Dr. Jennifer Maynard, saying it was not safe to begin playing football and girls volleyball.
“It is our stance that return to competition for the high-risk sports of football and volleyball is not medically safe,” said Maynard, who is a physician at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
You read correctly the chair of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee said it was not safe for football and volleyball to start, yet the FHSAA voted to run that stop sign.
And this may be the most Florida of all parts of this decision:
The board did not take questions from the public despite several thousand people watching the meeting on Zoom and Youtube. The board directed those with questions to email them to the FHSAA.
Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a disclaimer:
“A lot of this may be moot because we may get shut down again,” Wewahitchka athletic director Bobby Johns said after his motion passed while acknowledging there are no guarantees in a state adding roughly 10,000 COVID-19 cases per day.