LHSAA shoots down idea of sports flip-flop
On Wednesday, Louisiana High School Athletic Association Executive Director Eddie Bonine dismantled the idea of flipping fall and spring sports for the upcoming 2020-21 athletic season.
“Moving football and the other fall sports, flipping fall and spring sports, doesn’t make sense for us,” Bonine said. “We’ve heard from baseball coaches and they don’t want it. Some people thought we were going to shut down the fall season today. And that was never considered.
The idea, which sprang up over the last few weeks, introduced the concept of taking football and moving it to the spring, while baseball, softball and track would have moved to the fall.
The idea was hatched as a way to make sure that the upcoming high school football season is able to be played. The reason behind the trend, football is the major money maker in a majority of high schools across the state. In those schools, if money is not generated in football, the minor sports suffer.
As of now, the worry that the high school football season could be cut down is viable amongst a number of coaches in the state, especially with the Governor’s decision to delay the move to Phase III. With Phase II, no contact can be made between players, meaning the longer we stay in that phase, the closer we get to the deadline of being able to have players ready to perform on the field.
“When we met with football coaches about this a month or so ago, they agreed a minimum of five weeks of conditioning was needed to have the best chance of starting the season on time,” stated Bonine. “I remain optimistic that we can get the seasons started on time. But we’re right on a tight timeline now and there is not much wiggle room.”
The concern of time tables is just one of many concerns for the LHSAA. Handling cancelled games if teams are unable to play because of a COVID-19 outbreak, handling social distancing and limitations of fans, and protocols for return to play for athletes who are exposed during the season are just some of the hot bed topics that were up for discussion during the Executive Committee meetings that took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
“This is not an atypical summer meeting for the LHSAA,” commented Bonine.