FHSAA votes to start sports on Aug. 24

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion

On Aug. 14 the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) board of directors voted 11-5 to approve the start of high school sports in the state.

Teams can begin practicing on Aug. 24 and Sept. 7 will become the new first date of the regular season, with the last date falling in line with the normal calendar.

School districts will have the option to opt out of the state series and create their own regional schedule. The final date for schools to decide if they'd like to opt out is Sept. 18.

The decision goes against FHSAA's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) recommendation to delay the start of sports until later in the year.

SMAC had recommended that FHSAA move traditional fall sports such as football and girls volleyball to the winter, with the first date of the regular season falling on Dec. 14 and the last date of the regular season being Jan. 23. Winter sports such as basketball and soccer would have moved their first regular season date to March 1 and last date to April 3. Spring sports like baseball and softball would have had their regular season start on May 10 and end on June 12.