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LHSAA plan won't allow high school football games until schools reach 'phase 4' of reopening

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BATON ROUGE - The body that governs Louisiana's high school sports says it won't allow football in the fall until the state makes significant progress toward reopening.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association says which sports will be allowed to take place in the fall will be dictated by the reopening progress of schools statewide.

According to the LHSAA's plan, most sports will not be allowed to resume practice until schools reach phase three of reopening. Sports like football, basketball, soccer and wrestling will not be allowed to resume actual play until schools reach phase four.

High school football teams around the state have been working out in small groups doing both weight-lifting and field work for the past three weeks while the state is currently in phase two. A move to phase three would allow additional practice measures such as 7-on-7 passing work.  Many high school football teams are currently struggling to develop new players due to the restrictions in place and their lack of involvement of multiple players at a practice.

LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine spoke to the House Education Committee on Monday afternoon to update the procedures and progress for getting student-athletes back on the field of play.

Bonine told Committee members that there has been discussion related to sliding the fall football season to the spring of 2021, however that is not an option that is currently being considered.

The announcement comes as school systems statewide try to adapt their plans around the coronavirus pandemic.

Louisiana has been in phase two since early June, and the number of new virus cases have surged in recent weeks.

Last week New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that there would be no contact sports such as football and soccer this fall, but did leave the idea of moving those sports to the spring as an option to be decided on July 15.

Iowa high schools play their baseball and softball seasons over late spring and summer and have had multiple cancellations of individual teams seasons due to positive tests on their teams.

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