Polk, Manatee and Hillsborough school officials will delay fall sports

Three counties in Tampa Bay announced Tuesday a delay in fall sports when school starts back.

In Hillsborough County, Superintendent Addison Davis announced he will delay it by at least two weeks. Full practices will now begin August 10 with games starting August 24.

The announcement comes after the Florida High School Athletic Associated decided to let school districts decide how to handle the fall sports calendar, but some coaches are worried about the guidance regarding COVID-19.

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"The spread rate is so high," said Evan Davis, Armwood High School football head coach. "There's not a whole lot of guidelines right now. That worries me. The other thing is, there's no, well what is someone tests positive. What do we do then?"

Also on Tuesday, Polk and Manatee counties announced they will postpone practices for fall sports to further evaluate the pandemic situation. However, they have not provided any specific dates.

Superintendent Davis has also suggested a two-week delay to the school calendar, which would mean classes would start on August 24.

Manatee County opted to push the first day of classes back by one week, starting on Aug. 17, while Polk County decided to move their start date back by two weeks to Aug. 24.