Following three days of severe backlash — with even a chunk of the state threatening to secede from its high school sports governing body — the Florida High School Athletic Association on Thursday voted to push back the start of the fall sports season. Instead of starting practice Monday, it's been pushed back to Aug. 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an emergency meeting, the association's Board of Directors voted 11-4 to delay the fall season nearly a month after Monday voting 10-5 to keep the regular calendar intact.
Monday's vote was met with loads of opposition due to spiking COVID-19 numbers and the fact the Board went against recommendations made from a FHSAA task force and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC).
Thursday's Zoom meeting, shown live publicly via YouTube, took nearly three hours and came on the heels of Monday's five-hour meeting.
Clearly, like the rest of the state governing bodies have learned, the subject matter is complex and opinions vary greatly. Especially in a state as long, large and diverse as Florida.
The Board will meet again on or around Aug. 17 in person to update policy. But with an Aug. 24 practice date, the regular season won't begin until at least two weeks after that. Until then, teams in all sports can continue summer conditioning.
No timetable was discussed concerning the postseason football.
Three Western states this week — California, Washington and Nevada — all pushed back football seasons to the winter and spring seasons. Those states joined New Mexico, Virginia and the District of Columbia in making that bold move.