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Governor announces big step forward for fall sports

Dr. Jose Romero stresses the importance of athletes wearing face coverings as soon as practice is over. – Photo screenshot from YouTube.com

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today during his afternoon press conference that high school football teams will be allowed to participate in no contact drills while wearing helmets beginning Monday, August 3.

The governor made the announcement along with members of the Arkansas Activities Association today. He shared that players are still restricted from any contact at practice, but they will be allowed to wear helmets August 3-7. He added that he expects a plan to be announced that will assure the fall football season will be played this year.

“My message for the football players for Monday, is to grab your helmet and be ready for practice.” Hutchinson said. “And after practice, I want you to grab your mask, and help protect others you may be around.”

When asked about the following week of practice the governor stated that he expects a plan to be in place that will allow contact in practice.

He stated that the decision came after conversations with a diverse group of those involved including coaches, parents, players and health officials. He announced the creation of a sports advisory committee that will help approve and implement all plans presented by the AAA as they move forward with fall sports.

Another reason for moving forward was the fact that some Arkansas athletes are traveling outside the state to play. This brings a risk of them bringing the virus into the state from other areas. They also mentioned that surrounding states are making plans to move forward with their season as scheduled.

Other fall sports and activities such as volleyball, cheer and band are expected to resume activities next week.

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