GHSA will allow summer conditioning to begin on June 8

Georgia high school sports have taken a step forward towards resuming.

The GHSA Board of Trustees met on Thursday afternoon and discussed a proposal to return to conditioning on June 8, albeit with restrictions and recommendations for health and safety.

Workouts would be voluntary and would be conditioning only, "no balls or sport-specific equipment" being allowed and only 20 people including coaches per sport can be on campus or at a facility at the same time. Those group members should remain the same in each session to limit exposure, the GHSA proposal said. Schedules should allow at least 15 minutes between groups to allow the disinfecting of facilities and equipment.

Coaches and athletes must monitor whether they have a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, recent loss of taste or smell, a temperature higher than 100.3 degrees, and/or have had close contact or cared for someone with COVID-19 with the following form:

No competitions between schools would be allowed, nor are visitors, according to the proposal.

Schools would have to prepare an "infectious disease prevention plan" before returning to conditioning. The GHSA recommended staff and athletes be screened prior to every workout and that signage is posted asking questions like "Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?" and "Do you or have you had a fever in the last week?"

The GHSA proposal would also prohibiting use of the locker rooms and showers, instructing everyone to report ready to condition so no changing is needed. Additionally, every student must have his or her own personal water bottle.

As part of the health and safety measures, the GHSA proposal recommended that equipment must be cleaned and sanitized between uses and hand sanitizer should be readily available. Face masks or coverings are recommended in weight rooms, along with social distancing.

Fulton County Schools Athletic Director Steven Craft, Atlanta Public Schools Athletic Director Jasper Jewell and Henry County Schools Athletic Director Curt Miller all expressed concern during the Board of Trustees meeting that the originally-proposed June 1 date would be hard on Georgia's larger school systems. That's when the June 8 date was decided on.

"I think we are throwing it out there too soon," Craft said in reference to the June 1 proposal. "I just don’t see why we can move it a little later."

The GHSA officially cancelled spring sports and activities on April 2.