After two weeks without any modifications, the Georgia High School Association announced Wednesday that it would allow the use of football helmets during workouts starting Monday.
While the GHSA has yet to allow the use of locker rooms, pads and girdles, it was another step toward normalcy that rendered additional hope for the season being played as planned.
“If our intentions are to play this fall, which I think they are, then I think you have to start letting kids and coaches get prepared for that,” North Cobb Christian coach Mark Hollars said, “and I think the GHSA has been very measured in every step they’ve taken. Allowing helmets is a very small measure, but it helps kids get acclimated.”
GHSA executive director Robin Hines and the association’s Sports Medicine Advisory Council decided on the new guidelines with two stipulations in place — helmets cannot be issued to athletes until Monday, and schools must sanitize helmets before and after each use.
Because schools will need to implement their own strategy for sanitizing, it could take a couple of days for coaches to find the most efficient way of doing so.
First-year Campbell coach Howie DeCristofaro said he will have Lysol wipes for position coaches to hand out to every player. Each player will then sanitize their own helmet before and after use and place them alongside each other on a bench in the school’s gym.
The GHSA announced July 1 that it would allow intrasquad activities such as 7-on-7 passing drills and a regrouping of each programs’ group of 50 players if done safely. Some coaches, though, were still reluctant to let players compete in fast-paced drills without safety equipment.
“I was a little hesitant about doing intrasquad stuff like 7-on-7 without having helmets to protect the kids,” South Cobb coach Terry Jones said. “Kids’ safety is at the top of my list, so having the ability for the players to wear helmets helps really increase the safety aspect.”