Party of five? BIIF mulls breaking up football practices into small groups

  • Tribune-Herald file photo The BIIF is thinking about practicing in pods of five players for football. If one player tested positive for the coronavirus, then the four others would have to be quarantined.

BIIF athletes in fall sports (football, girls volleyball, riflery, cross-country, bowling, and cheerleading) are itching to go, but the league is still awaiting the state’s approval.

“We’ve been talking about schedules, but nothing has been finalized,” said Lyle Crozier, the league’s executive director. “We’re still waiting to hear from the DOE when we can start.”

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Whenever the Department of Education grants its approval, the schedules will have an old-time feel.

“We’re forecasting a 50 percent budget cut. We may go with an East-West schedule to save on transportation costs.”

The league is looking at a 10-week schedule with a Sept. 1 start date. Football would begin Aug. 17 to get in a training camp.

Football is a tricky situation. It’s a contact sport, but the BIIF is thinking about practicing in pods of five players and crossing its fingers when it’s game time.

If one player tested positive for the coronavirus, then the four others would have to be quarantined.

The DOE still hasn’t figured out a starting date when to have in-person classes yet.

Crozier pointed out that parent-AD meetings would be pivotal.

“If a child is sick or has a cold, they have to keep him at home,” he said. “The parents are really crucial in this. They would help out a lot not sending their child to practice or school.”

The DOE and BIIF haven’t come up with a tolerance number yet, say if a certain number of players caught the coronavirus before everything is shut down.

The BIIF will also take advice from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the National High School Federation, and the state Department of Health.

“It’s up to the DOE. They’ll let us know when we can open up facilities and when school will start,” Crozier said. “We’ll have our schedules ready and guidelines. We’ll get some guidelines and help from the DOH.”

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In the new age of coronavirus no fans, the BIIF may take that route.

“How many people will we allow in one area? We haven’t talked about playing without fans,” Crozier said. “We might televise. Some schools have the capability to live stream. Maybe some schools will invest in that.”

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