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The TSSAA announced Monday evening that it has added an item to the agenda of Wednesday's scheduled Board of Control meeting to include contingency plans for football and girls' soccer, as well as regulations put together by the staff and governor's office for all fall sports in regards to precautions for participation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting will take place at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Murfreesboro's Siegel High School and will also include discussions on possible reclassifications plans for the next school year.

The prep football and girls' soccer seasons were originally scheduled to kick off in less than one month, but with no clear direction having been announced by either the TSSAA or Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, those plans had remained in question.

Since Tennessee remains under Gov. Lee's state of emergency order, which was extend in late June to remain in affect through Aug. 29, neither prep football nor girls' soccer teams will be allowed to conduct practices with contact between players or begin playing their regular-season games.

Other TSSAA fall sports — cross country, boys' and girls' golf and volleyball — have been cleared to continue using the original schedule for practice and competition to begin.

The Georgia High School Association announced on Monday that it is pushing back the start of football season by two weeks, with games now set to kick off on Sept. 4.

This week marks the heat acclimation period for TSSAA football, which means teams can go out in helmets and shorts and later in the week even shoulder pads, helmets and shorts for conditioning. The date for teams to begin conducting contact practices in full pads is scheduled for the following week, starting Monday, July 27.

It is hoped that during Wednesday's meeting the board will announce a plan for moving forward for when football and girls' soccer can begin having contact and start their seasons.

Two weeks ago the board delayed a vote to choose between four proposals, all of which would push the start of the season back to Sept. 18 and shorten the number of playoff games. At that time, board members said the vote was delayed in hopes of having Gov. Lee exempt the TSSAA from his emergency order, just as he did for in-state college and professional football teams, which would allow prep athletes to resume the original practice and game schedule.

But that exemption still has not come, keeping both football and girls' soccer in limbo.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

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