In a special called meeting on Thursday, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association (TSSAA) Legislative Council confirmed that the two-week dead period for high school athletes will remain the same as originally scheduled.

During summer workouts, teams are required to take a two-week mandated break by the TSSAA. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school coaches around the state made requests to change or eliminate the “dead period” altogether.

In Thursday’s special-called meeting, members of the legislative council brought forward a motion to make a change to the dead period. Included in those amendments was a request from Siegel’s Greg Wyant asked if the dead period could change to one week from two.

Some members of the council suggested that an earlier meeting should have taken place, instead of calling for one three weeks ahead of the off period. TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress reiterated that the TSSAA is in the same position as a lot of people and businesses when it comes to the pandemic – waiting to see what happens.

“The pandemic is making the decisions right now as how we proceed in athletics,” Childress said. “We have a calendar in place consisting of everybody following the same thing. If you change it, you’ll need to decide what each sport is allowed to do during the two weeks because right now, they’ve never been allowed to do anything for the last few years. You can’t just say we are going to wave the dead period and that be it.”

Thursday’s vote was split at 6-6 and the motion to change the two-week off period was denied. The dead period will continue as scheduled, which will be June 22 until July 6.

Last Monday, high school athletes across the state were allowed to return to workouts. The Tullahoma High School football and basketball teams began working out on May 27, but have to follow special protocols during each workout.

Upon arrival, every player and coach is required to meet at the concession stand, located at the top of the Rudy Hensel Track. From there, players and coaches will have their temperature taken. Anybody with a temperature above 100.4 Fahrenheit degrees will be sent home. Any athlete who has a high temperature or feels sick is encouraged to stay at home.

Locker rooms are closed, so athletes must bring athletic shoes, cleats and workout gear with them. All players are also required to bring their own water bottles with their names written on them.

Workouts will consist of seven different groups, each working in 90-minute intervals. Each group consists of 10 players. Social distancing has been mandated throughout all workouts. After each group session, cleaning and disinfecting will be taking place.

Workouts are scheduled to continue through June 19. After that, football and other sports will enter the two-week mandated dead period.

According to the schedule, players and coaches will once again be allowed to continue practices on Monday, July 6. As of press time, the TSSAA has made no ruling on the start of fall sports and those are expected to continue as originally scheduled.

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