High school football season to start Aug. 20

Albertville’s Jovany Lopez runs around right end during the 2019 Backyard Brawl against Boaz. On Wednesday, the AHSAA announced fall sports seasons would start on time. The 2020 Pirates-Aggies matchup is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Boaz.

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved the AHSAA’s Return to Play Best Practices recommended guidelines Wednesday and reaffirmed plans to start fall sports on time. The board took action at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery.

Fall sports teams have the option to begin fall workouts Monday, July 27, with the first week used by football for acclimation purposes with helmets and shorts only. The other fall sports – volleyball, cross country and swimming and diving – can use the first week for acclimation and tryouts.

Schools not choosing that option may start fall practice Aug. 3. The first contest can be Aug. 20.

AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese praised the Central Board for its leadership and commitment providing member schools the tools to return to play as safely as possible.

“The purpose of the Return to Play document is to offer AHSAA member schools best practices in order to commence the 2020-21 school year athletic seasons as scheduled and as safely as possible,” Savarese said.

The Central Board also approved amending the AHSAA constitution concerning the district board makeup, central board makeup and bi-districts and the Central Board rotations to guarantee no person shall be discriminated against based on gender, race or religion.

The Merger Act guaranteed specific representation for AHSAA and AIAA members. The new language provides representatives of the AHSAA and AIAA to each have equal opportunity at all positions of management.

“I want to thank this Central Board for having the courage to do the right thing,” Savarese said. “Moving forward, this is a great day for our association.”

The AHSAA and the Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association merged in 1968, forming one high school athletic association for the state in accordance with a court order relating to athletics. The AIAA had previously governed athletics at segregated African-American schools.

The board also waived member school dues for the 30th consecutive year, a savings of approximately $84,000 for the schools for the coming school year and a total savings of approximately $2.4 million since 1991-92 for the AHSAA’s 416 high schools and 336 middle/junior high schools.

The legislative council also held its summer meeting Wednesday and approved the publications and constitution amendments.

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