As Alabama State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey announced the state’s “Roadmap to Reopening Schools” on June 26, he also briefly addressed the return to sports and other extracurricular activities, as well.

Mackey confirmed that all sports and extracurricular activities will be allowed to take place beginning in the fall but said that most will likely look different than they have before.

Mackey said he will defer to the Alabama High School Athletic Association for specific guidelines for sports this year. The AHSAA has yet to release its guidelines.

Mackey did say that it will be expected that equipment is cleaned as often as practical and possible moving forward and social distancing in crowds at games and other events should be followed when possible.

Mackey pointed to graduations that occurred in May as a good example of the way social distancing can be done in which families are allowed to sit together but other families should sit at least six feet apart.

Mackey also said that the players box on the football field could be extended so that players and coaches can spread out more on the sideline. He also said that as few people should be allowed on sidelines as possible.

Mackey also said that if a team plays in a city or county in which an ordinance has been passed that requires facial coverings then fans in attendance will be required to follow those rules.

The AHSAA released a statement on June 26 to confirm that it was reviewing the state’s “Roadmap to Reopening School.”

“We appreciate Dr. Mackey and his staff for their tireless efforts,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said in the statement. “I am looking forward to working with school administrators and with the AHSAA Football and Fall Sports Committees, which meet on July 7, in addition to the Alabama Football Coaches Association on July 8 to discuss the Alabama State Department of Education’s Roadmap the ADPH guidelines.

“The AHSAA will continue to study and produce “Best Practices” – in conjunction with the AHSAA Central Board, Medical Advisory Board, ALSDE and ADPH – and will present the recommendations to the Central Board at its July 22 meeting.”

The current start date for fall camps for football and volleyball is set for July 27.

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