BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – High school football games will not be played in Louisiana until the state enters a “fourth phase” of reopening.
The Louisiana High School Athletics Association made it official on Monday with the release of sport-specific information on what kinds of practices and games will be allowed depending on the phase, which was presented to state legislators in the House Education Committee.
The LHSAA chart is based on a combination of guidelines from the White House, the CDC, and the National Federation of High Schools. With a fourth phase added beyond the state and government-recommended guidelines, the third phase allows for 7-on-7 and interschool contact drills, while the fourth phase is wide open for teams.
The state has remained in Phase 2 since Gov. John Bel Edwards extended the order on June 25. Edwards also signed a statewide mask mandate over the weekend that went into effect on Monday, further expanding restrictions under the current order and toughening limits on group gatherings and shuttering bars.
Executive Director Eddie Bonine made a point Monday to say that the LHSAA has no plans to cancel Fall sports at this time.
Still, the window of opportunity to get any games in is shrinking as traditional start dates for high school football practices draw near. Local coaches are simply waiting to see if they are even going to have a season in the Fall.
“Things just kinda up in the air at this point,” said Plain Dealing coach Chris Wilson. “So we’re just trying to wait to and see…wait and see if LHSAA comes out with a statement contradicting what that guy posted today or confirming it. We’re just hearing a bunch of different stuff.”
Bonine said flipping Fall and Spring seasons has been discussed, but is not the LHSAA’s first option.
The National Junior College Athletic Association is expected to announce they’ll be pushing football to the Spring. That proposal would also shift the starting dtes of all other Fall and Winter sports. They’re hoping that this will allow Fall and Winter sports to play full seasons.