The Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) has changed a few dates pertaining to the upcoming football season.
“Week 0” now begins Friday, Sept. 4 with the football practice acclimation period set to start Aug. 3.
The announcement came Tuesday, one day after the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) voted to push the start of football’s regular season back two weeks to Sept. 4.
GISA programs, such as reigning AAA champs John Milledge Academy and AA champs Gatewood, will have a two-week acclimation period during which time contact at practice is not permitted. Padded practice and contact may begin Aug. 17.
In order to accommodate schools’ finals schedules in December, the GISA football postseason has been reduced to include just the top eight teams so championships have been moved back only one week.
Unlike the GHSA, the GISA has created a little more room in the winter and spring sports calendars because so many student-athletes play multiple sports. An extra week has been added onto those seasons, but practice start dates will remain the same. Playoffs and finals for basketball, wrestling, track, golf, weightlifting, tennis, soccer and baseball are pushed one week later.
“We appreciate the understanding and flexibility during this time,” reads an announcement from the league. “We know these changes are unexpected, but we strive to allow all sports fair and equal time for a full season. We also feel postponing contact in football may be beneficial due to COVID and the restrictions for social distancing.”
The announcement goes on to say that a survey will be sent out to GISA member schools this week regarding their commitment to fall sports. The final decision to participate or not lies with each individual school.
Like with the GHSA, the first week of practice and games for GISA softball, volleyball, cross country and other fall sports remain the same.