SCHSL approves plan to begin fall sports in August

First football game of the year tentatively slated for September 1

SCHSL approves plan to begin fall sports in August
Dutch Fork celebrates their fourth consecutive state title after defeating Dorman 31-28 in overtime at Williams-Brice Stadium on December 7, 2019. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina High School League executive committee has approved the league’s proposal to begin fall sports in August.

Posted by South Carolina High School League on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Under the plan, football season would be shortened to seven games allowing teams to compete against region opponents first. Teams that have extra weeks available on their schedule because they compete in a smaller region would be allowed to compete in non-region games following region play.

The plan would also abbreviate postseason play to four rounds and allow each region to be represented. This would apply to sports where teams qualify for playoffs through region play.

Playoffs would begin on October 30. The state championships would take place on November 20.

“If time challenges us, then we can still do it with three rounds and still create an opportunity where you can qualify through the region,” SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton said.

Football teams who do not make the playoffs would have a two-week period to pick up an additional game.

Teams would have four weeks to prepare for the season. The first date for fall sports to begin practice would be August 17. However, the plan also allows for flexibility to push dates back for football and other fall sports should there be a spike in COVID-19 cases or a weather event that forces fall sports to be postponed.

Each fall sport would get two scrimmages or jamboree before the season starts, according to Singleton.

The first game of the season would take place for teams on September 11. If the season is delayed, the last possible date to play football would be October 2 in order to end the season within the same timeframe as the current athletic calendar.

SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton said decisions by the executive committee would need to be made at a later date if football season is unable to begin on October 2.

Singleton said the South Carolina High School League would review conditions to determine as dates approached to determine if changes need to be made.

“This virus is very unpredictable,” Singleton said during the meeting. “So, we’re always going to have an opportunity to be fluid as we move through it.”

Singleton said the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Governor McMaster’s office will also play a role in helping the league determine what is safe for student-athletes across the state.

Here are the important dates for other fall sports:

Girls Tennis and Volleyball

First contest: August 31 (begin with region play)

Playoffs start: October 19

State Finals: October 31

Swimming and Girls Golf

First contest: August 31

Swim State Finals: October 10 and 12

Girls’ Golf Qualifiers: October 19

Girls’ Golf State Finals: October 26 and 27

Cross Country

First contest: August 31

Cross Country Qualifiers: Week of November 2-7

Cross Country State Finals: Week of November 9-14

Competitive Cheer

First contest: September 12

Upper and Lower State Qualifiers: Week of November 2-7

Cheer State Finals: Week of November 9-14

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