The Alabama High School Athletic Association unveiled its "best practices" Thursday as it looks toward beginning the fall sports season as scheduled.
Executive Director Steve Savarese held a press conference to discuss the details of the guidelines.
Although the plan is to play — and complete — a full season, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a fluid situation.
"We cannot think in normal terms," Savarese said.
The AHSAA Central Board approved the on-time, return-to-play plan on Wednesday.
Fall sports teams will have the option to start workouts next Monday, a so-called acclimation period.
For football, that means helmets and shorts only.
Other fall sports — volleyball and cross country — can use next week for acclimation and/or tryouts.
Fall practice will officially begin August 3.
On Thursday, the AHSAA offered numerous recommendations as how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 this fall.
For the most part, however, the AHSAA is letting schools and school systems make many of those decisions.
Notable recommendations are:
— The players' box on each sideline will be extended and run from one 10-yard line to the other.
— Coaches and players are encouraged to wear masks on the sidelines.
— Only one captain will be present at the coin toss.
— Timeouts will be extended to two minutes to help with social distancing guidelines.
— Teams will not switch benches during the match.
— Pre-match meetings will take place at center court and will involve only the coaches.
— Number of people at the scorers' table will be limited.
— Courses will be widened to six feet, where applicable.
— Staggered or interval starts are encouraged.
— Athletes should wear masks when traveling on buses if social distancing cannot be achieved. Furthermore, assigned seating is encouraged in the event contract tracing is needed.
— Schools will set the number of fans allowed to attend games.
— Gameday personnel — band, cheerleaders, concession workers, media — should be tested before entering a school facility.
See a complete list of recommendations, modifications and best practices at https://www.ahsaa.com/2020-Fall-Sports-Rules-Modifications