Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that the Arkansas Athletic Association has presented a schedule for football in terms of contact/no contact team drills with helmets to begin August 3 through August 7.
“We want our student athletes in football to proceed with their no contact team drills with helmets throughout next week. I am also asking the Triple A Athletic Association to submit a plan to the Department of Health to have football, volleyball and cheer-leading this fall. That will allow the Department of Health to review and develop the guidelines for mitigating the virus risk with contact sports,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson also announced that he was establishing a high school sports advisory group to make recommendations to him and assist The Department of Health in the best practices for protecting the student athletes and school personnel to lead us to have a regular sports season this fall.
“The reason we want to move in this direction is as I have said, I have heard from parents, student athletes, coaches and many other educators, and sports, as they make the point, is a very important part of the development our youth. If you do not have sports many of the student athletes will be traveling out of state to participate in sports which adds another level of risk and that increases the risk,” Hutchinson stated.
With just over three weeks before school starts with students in the classroom we will learn with training in the fields of sports, practice, cheer-leading and other activities what adjustments need to be made to improve safety protocols.
The Department of Health will continue their responsibility to provide and issue health guidelines. This group of experts that is being convened will serve in an advisory capacity to look specifically at how we can have fall sports in the safest manner possible. The protection of our athletes is of utmost importance.