GAINESVILLE — The Georgia High School Association left it up to each of its 460 individual members to decide if, and for how long, they would shut down extracurricular activities, including sports, in the wake of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Every school district in the state elected to postpone their spring sports seasons -- most for two weeks, some for one week with an evaluation to follow.
Soccer and tennis are scheduled to have their regular seasons completed by April 16, baseball by April 18, track-and-field by May 2, and golf by May 5. To complicate matters more, the CDC released a statement recommending a halt to all activities involving gatherings of 50 or more people for eight weeks.
So, if things do return to normal in the coming weeks, where does that leave schools as far as planning and determining any potential playoff scenarios?
North Hall Athletics Director Sam Borg said that will be the biggest question if they are fortunate enough to get that opportunity.
“This has been a very humbling situation for all of us on the sports side of things,” Borg said Monday. “Coaches are not used to not being able to play, not being able to practice. Just the whole feeling of the gravity of this whole situation. It’s a tough spot for all of us.
“Hopefully we’ll get the chance to try and figure all this out. The GHSA left it up to each region to try and work things out. In sports like baseball, soccer, tennis who have to decide the four teams, that's tough because obviously your looking at unbalanced schedules or some teams not playing at all. How they resolve that will be a challenge. In golf and track, they have a region meet and can handle that much easier.”
But Borg, who was a basketball and cross country coach at both West Hall and White County, was quick to remind that this is uncharted territory for everyone involved. As someone who has been on the frontline in the past, whether it be from snow days or rain or whatever impacted regular scheduling, Borg said nothing will be off the table.
“I think you have to think outside of the box with something like this. Nothing should be dismissed and everything has to be on the table,” he said. “My job now as an AD will be to see what the region representatives send me and the Principal for approval. We have talked to the coaches some about a few things but things are changing almost by the hour so it’s hard to get a read on some things.
“But I always feel like when it comes to some tough decisions involving schedules and or playoff things, the coaches know best, without a doubt. I will probably lean on (the coaches) knowledge about their sports. Right now, I have no idea how this is going to turn out.”