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 action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery. Fall sports teams have the option to begin fall workouts on July 27 with the first week used by football for acclimation purposes only 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 on August 3. The first contest can be August 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,” said Savarese. 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,” said Savarese. “Moving forward, this is a great day for our association.” 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. In other Board action Wednesday:  Reviewed the Cash and Current AHSAA assets Approved the 2019-20 AHSAA and AHAADCA Financial Statements Approved the AHSAA and AHSADCA 2020-21 Budgets  Approved AHSAA insurance coverages Tabled the Revenue Share Amount for the 2019-20 school year Approved all 2020-21 Publications and heard a report on the digital access publication plan from Assistant Director Kim Vickers Approved a request to postpone the Instant Replay Experiment to the 2021 season as a result of COVID 19 Discussed COVID-19 Championship contingency plans Rescheduled the October Central Board meeting from October 14 to October 15 Approved paid vacation for unused dates for AHSAA staff members 2020 FOOTBALL RULE MODIFICATIONS In support of the NFHS Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities, the NFHS Football Editorial Committee offers this document for state associations to consider whether any possible rules could be altered for the 2020 football season. The modifications outlined in this document are meant to decrease potential exposure to respiratory droplets by encouraging social distancing, limiting participation in administrative tasks to essential personnel and allowing for appropriate protective equipment. 1. Team Box (Rule 1-2-3g) • The team (players only) box will be extended on both sides of the field to the 10-yard lines, (coaches will continue to be restricted from 25 to 25-yard lines), in order for more social-distancing space for teams. 2. Face Masks [Rule 1-5-1a, 1-5-3c (4)] • Cloth face coverings are permissible. • Plastic shields covering the entire face (unless integrated into the face mask and attached to the helmet and clear without the presence of any tint) shall NOT be allowed during the contest. 3. Gloves (Rule 1-5-2b) • Gloves are permissible but still must comply with Rule 1-5-2b by meeting either the NOCSAE Standard or the SFIA Specification. 4. Charged Time-Outs and Authorized Conferences (Rules 2-6-2, 3-5-3, 3-5-8) • Charged time-outs will be extended to a maximum of two minutes in length. • It will be permissible for more than one coach to be involved in the conference and for technology (headsets) to be used. 5. Intermission between periods and after scoring (Rule 3-5-7l) • The intermission between periods (first/second and third/fourth) as well as the time period following a try, successful field goal or safety and prior to the succeeding free kick will also be extended to a maximum of two minutes. 6. Coin Toss Captain (3-2-2) • Only one captain from each team may be present at the coin toss with the Referee and Umpire. The same procedure will be utilized for overtime. The following are NFHS best practices 1. Individuals should maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times while in the team box. 2. Individuals should not share uniforms, towels and other apparel and equipment. 3. The ball should be cleaned and sanitized throughout the contest as recommended by the ball manufacturer. Ball handlers should maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times during the contest. 4. Officials may use an electronic whistle and wear cloth face coverings. 5. All individuals, including each player and official when brought out on the field during time outs, should have their own beverage container. 6. Suspend handshakes during the coin toss, pregame and postgame. 7. Players, coaches, team personnel and game administration officials should wash and sanitize their hands as often as possible. 8. Gloves and cloth face coverings are permissible for all coaches, team staff and game administration officials. 9. Non-essential personnel should be restricted from the field during the contest. 10. If available, dressing facilities for game officials and teams should be large enough for them to use social distancing protocols and should be properly cleaned and sanitized prior to their arrival. 2020-21 Volleyball Rules Modifications In support of the Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities, the NFHS Volleyball Rules Committee offers this document for state associations to consider whether any possible rules could be altered for the 2020-21 season. The modifications outlined in this document are meant to decrease potential exposure to respiratory droplets by encouraging social distancing, limiting participation in administrative tasks to essential personnel and allowing for appropriate protective equipment 1. Pre-match Conference (1-2-4a; 1-6-2; 1-6-3; 2-1-10; 5-4-1h, k; 5-6-1; 7-1-1; 7-1-1 PENALTIES 1; 9-1a; 12-2-3) Limit attendees to one coach from each team, first referee and second referee. Move the location of the pre-match conference to center court with one coach and one referee positioned on each side of the net. All four individuals maintain a social distance of 3 to 6 feet. Suspend the use of the coin toss to determine serve/receive. The visiting team will serve first in set 1 and alternate first serve for the remaining non-deciding sets. Suspend roster submission at the pre-match conference. Rosters are submitted directly to the officials’ table before the 10-minute mark. Team Benches (5-4-4b, 9-1-2, 9-1-2 NOTE, 9-3-3b) Suspend the protocol of teams switching benches between sets. In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage, teams may switch sides, observing all social distancing protocols. Officials will determine if a disadvantage is present. Limit bench personnel to observe social distancing of 3 to 6 feet. o Deciding Set Procedures [1-2-4b, 5-4-4c, 5-5-3b (26), 9-2-3c] Move the location of the deciding set coin toss to center court with team captains and the second referee maintaining the appropriate social distance of 3 to 6 feet. A coin toss, called by the home team, will decide serve/receive. Suspend the protocol of teams switching benches before a deciding set. In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage, teams may switch sides, observing all social distancing protocols. Officials will determine if a disadvantage is present. o Substitution Procedures (2-1-7, 10-2-1, 10-2-3, 10-2-4) Maintain social distancing of 3 to 6 feet between the second referee and the player and substitute by encouraging substitutions to occur within the substitution zone closer to the attack line. o Officials Table (3-4) Limit to essential personnel which includes home team scorer, libero tracker and timer with a recommend distance of 3 to 6 feet between individuals. Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and will need to find an alternative location. 2. Volleyball Rules Interpretations o Rule 4-1 EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES Cloth face coverings are permissible. (4-1-4) Gloves are permissible. (4-1-1) o Rule 4-2 LEGAL UNIFORM Long sleeves are permissible. (4-2-1) Long pants are permissible. [4-2-1i (1)] Under garments are permissible, but must be unadorned and of a single, solid color similar in color to the predominant color of the uniform top or bottom. [4-2-1h (3), 4-2-1i (2)] o Rule 5-3 OFFICIALS UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT Electronic whistles are permissible. (5-3-2a, b) Cloth face coverings are permissible. Gloves are permissible.

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