High school student-athletes can begin summer conditioning at the schools with their coaches beginning June 8.

That was the date agreed upon by the Georgia High School Association's Board of Trustees during a virtual meeting Thursday.

Gov. Brian Kemp had approved a plan GHSA executive director Robin Hines had submitted with June 1 as the date, but many of the trustees -- speaking on behalf of the athletic directors in their areas -- said the turnaround time for making sure the proper cleaning equipment and understanding of the new cleaning and coaching guidelines was too short. 

"What we are focused on is getting our kids back in front of our coaches safely," Hines said Wednesday during the "Georgia Prep Sports: From a Distance" podcast.

The GHSA prepared guidelines for the schools to follow when the athletes reports, and one of the first things on the list was that "schools and school systems may be more restrictive than the GHSA, but not less."

The plan stated that workouts are voluntary and for conditioning only, and no balls or sports-specific equipment is to be used. Each school should prepare an infectious disease prevention plan, and it is recommended that all coaches, staff and athletes be screened for the coronavirus before each workout.

Coaches and athletes should be in groups no larger than 20 at any time. Those workout groups will remain consistent throughout the summer to limit the risk of passing on the virus.

The majority of the list of guidelines set forth by the GHSA followed those released earlier this week by the National Federation of State High School Associations, though the NFHS suggested groups be no larger than 10.

In addition, there will be no use of locker rooms or shower facilities on campus. Athletes will have to report for their workouts dressed in the proper clothing.  

Social distancing should be enforced during the workouts, with masks or face coverings recommended in the weight room, and each athlete must have his or her own water bottle. No water fountains or water stations will be allowed.

Once a group completes its workout, all the workout equipment must be cleaned and sanitized in preparation for the next wave of student-athletes. Hand sanitizer should be readily available, there will be at least 15 minutes in between groups and no visitors will be allowed during the workouts.

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