Georgia High School Football got thrown another stipulation at yesterday’s GHSA weekly meeting SMAC. The GHSA decided to clarify the re-acclimation of quarantined athletes when they return to practice after the 14-day quarantine period with input from the medical group, SMAC (Sports Medicine Advisory Council).
Current rules state that anyone exposed to the virus must stay home and quarantine for 14 days.
Quarantine is taking a toll on football teams all across the state. Trion High School had its Blue and White intrasquad scrimmage planned, but because a dozen players are currently under quarantine for possible exposure to coronavirus the Bulldogs did not have enough players to have a real scrimmage. Colquitt County has canceled its opening two games because of multiple players on the offensive and defensive lines are in quarantine. Irwin County had to pull out of its Sept. 4 opener with Eagle’s Landing Christian because of players in quarantine. Pinecrest has opted this season to play eight-man football with the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
Following quarantine, the GHSA re-acclimation stipulations will make it even more difficult for coaches to field a team. Initially, all football players will be required to complete five (5) days of acclimation. Once acclimated, if players miss five (5) or more consecutive days of practice, they must re-acclimate. GHSA posted the following statement on its website: all athletes and teams requiring re-acclimation, will follow the schedule below (for all athletes who have previously completed the acclimation period).
Day 1: 1.5 hour conditioning – helmets only
Day 2: 2 hours conditioning – helmets only
Day 3: 2.5 hours with helmets only
Day 4: 2.5 hours with helmets and shoulder pads
Day 5: 2.5 hours with full pads – No Game
Quarantined players will be required to do five days of re-acclimation, the first three days are helmets only with the last day allowing full pads but no game.
So if you’re a numbers person, 14 days of quarantine plus five days of re-acclimation puts an athlete that may have been exposed to coronavirus out for 19 days. For the 70 day football season one quarantine is equivalent to a player missing 27% of the season.