AHSAA considering changes to calendar
Published 7:28 am Monday, February 19, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
The Alabama High School Athletic Association is considering several new proposals, most of which involve calendar issues.
Football: the state is considering making Aug. 1 a permanent starting date for practice unless it falls on a weekend. Practice would start on the Monday closest to Aug. 1 in those years.
T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal currently play their first regular season game 25 days after the first day of practice. Some schools start their season one day earlier. This past year those teams started practice Aug. 7 and opened the season Sept. 1.
W.S. Neal coach Blaine Hathcock is in favor of the proposed switch.
Hathcock also said the proposal could bring a return of two-a-days for many schools.
T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs prefers to keep the first practice date in its current position.
Another football proposal would restrict schools from having spring training between the end of basketball season and the last Monday in March. Both W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller currently have spring training in February and both have overlaps with basketball. W.S. Neal began its spring training the last week of the basketball season, while T.R. Miller's basketball season is still going and could theoretically last for another two weeks.
The one thing the proposal does is eliminate spring training for later spring months such as April and May, a time frame many schools currently use.
April and May because it's warmer then. It's still pretty cold in some of those regions this time of year,” said Riggs.
Baseball: A carryover proposal from the football spring training debate is pushing the start of the baseball season until the last Tuesday in March. The end of the state playoffs would be in early June as compared to late May under the current system.
Most, if not all, schools will end classes before the state series ends.
Riggs said perhaps an even bigger issue would be those seniors who wish to start college that summer.
Softball: the state is proposing a set start date of Mar. 1 and limiting teams to four regular season tournaments. T.R. Miller already has a self-imposed Mar. 1 start date. W.S. Neal was originally supposed to start its season this year Feb. 20, but it has since been pushed back to Feb. 22. Both schools are also below the tournament allotment. T.R. Miller is playing in three regular season tournaments, while W.S. Neal does not have any. Both schools tend to play between 20 and 30 games, while some schools will play upwards of 80 games.