Addison Volleyball

Addison's volleyball team celebrate a state title.

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.

Cross Country

— 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

Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 236 or at​

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