Florida High School Athletic Association Votes to Allow Fall Sports, Including Swimming, to Start Practice August 24

Photo Courtesy: Florida Swim Network Twitter

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) board of directors voted 11-5 on Friday for an August 24 start date for fall sports practices, making last month’s decision to postpone the start date official, according to The Orlando Sentinel. Swimming, which is a fall sport in the state of Florida, will be allowed to start competition on Friday, September 4.

Other fall sports include football, girls volleyball, bowling, cross country and golf.

The original start date for practices was July 27, but was pushed back due to concerns over safety. The FHSAA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) recommended a September 28 start date, but the board chose to stray from those recommendations.

However, the swim season will already go on without the presence of reigning 2A state champs Pine Crest, who as a school elected not to participate in any fall sports despite what the FHSAA decided.

The vote came two and half hours into Friday’s meeting in a Best Western Gateway Grand hotel ballroom in Gainesville to put an end to a debate that has raged for months, according to The Orlando Sentinel. The meeting was held with a 50-person cap on attendance per Alachua County coronavirus restrictions and was also streamed live via the National Federation of High Schools.

The Florida high school state swimming championships will be held November 6 – 7. According to The New York Times, Florida has had over 550,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 9,000 recorded deaths. According to data, the average number of daily cases has decreased in the last week.


  1. Jason Cronk

    Awesome news. So happy for all the kids

  2. Darren Ward

    Such a disconnect in the US.. many major university conferences pulling the plug.. but some how the high schools are gonna do it right. So sad when adults play with the well being of children.

    For goodness sake.. it won’t kill you to take a season off… but it might if you don’t!!

    • Rick Parker

      The schools aren’t responsible for putting kids in pools of disinfectant. Their parents are. Swimming is not mandatory.

      • avatar

        Yep. Let’s hope Orange County votes time swim

    • Darren Ward

      Rick Parker who provides the opportunity?

    • Tina Evans

      What are the consequences of taking all their life activities away from them? Their dreams, their passions, their goals?

    • Darren Ward

      Tina Evans you cannot take any of those things away… they will always posses them.

      The real question is… What are the consequences of allowing them to compete?

      Can you honestly say that everyone of those schools is going to provide a consistently safe environment? And that every athlete is going to abide by social distancing practices at all times both at school and away from school?

    • Rick Parker

      Darren ward so I guess gun manufacturers are responsible for all shootings?

    • Rick Parker

      Life has risks. Choose to take them or not but don’t take the choice away from them.

    • Darren Ward

      Rick Parker I disagree, your bad choice might kill someone. Completely irresponsible attitude.

    • Darren Ward

      The schools have an obligation to protect.. this decision does not do that.

  3. Debbie Konarski

    We have been practicing club for a month with no issues. They will be fine. These kids need sports. No meets on the horizon yet in PA but practice is going well.

    • Heather Underwood

      same here at our little club in central new york…we have had a 3 day a week (for 12 and unders) for last 5 weeks…its gone very well…waiting to hear what the plan is for september

    • Bethanie Le Blanc

      Debbie Konarski same here outside of Houston Texas. Been practicing since June.

    • Karen Tejes-Selby

      Same here in Wisconsin. We’ve been practicing since the beginning of July.

    • Naomi Smith

      My kids in Utah have been practicing since mid-end of May without any issues.

  4. Jennifer Rinesmith

    I think swimmers will be ok. There are so many factors to keep them low risk as long as they follow all safety precautions. Other sports fair so well.

  5. Rick Parker

    I registered as an official again today. Looking forward to seeing the kids swim again. Way to go, FHSAA.

  6. William Wheeler

    If you are planning on swimming in college, you should forget about this high school swimming season in the Fall. Even if you get mildly ill from COVID, there could be permanent damage to your body that you don’t even know about. Stay swimming with your club team. If you are good enough to swim in college, your club coach can help you get a scholarship. Most colleges know high school season is not as important as it used to be and look to the club coaches to help them get swimmers. Stay safe.

    • avatar
      Jane Steele

      Why would it be safe to swim for their club team and not their high school team?

      • avatar
        Brian T

        Clubs are following the excellent USA Swimming safety protocols and not going to competitions. HS swimming will not be as safe because they will be competing.

  7. Chris Hill Ludwick

    I really hope it works out for you guys, but with FL being one of the worst states with the virus, I’m surprised you keep going the direction you’re going. I really think if you had just shut everything down for July or Aug, this wouldn’t be happening. We won’t be having any sports at all till spring, including swimming, its these actions that have kept our situation a little better than you. Good Luck FL, love Oregon!

    • Connie Wolf Shaw

      Chris Hill Ludwick many kids in other states have been having swimming for months without ANY issues. Sorry for Oregon kids on this front. You have bigger issues tho with your shut downs.

    • avatar

      Florida pools are outdoors. I’m guessing Oregon isn’t. That would be a factor. Although my friend has an indoor swim school and has had no issues.

  8. Jeff Price

    Perfect, just stay in your state.

  9. TNT Swimming

    Been going since May 28 and all good.

  10. Marly Zea

    In Miami Dade Only about 4 HS schools ( only one public school ) have their own pools. The rest of the teams need to rent lanes in different facilities like some colleges and universities that are neither open or the use of their facilities is restricted to their own students and faculty . Many public pools are closed and private schools not letting use their pools to outsiders …many kids that participate in swimming here are not club swimmers .. not an easy scenario .