The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) voted Monday to push back the high school football season two weeks, while keeping all other fall sports on schedule.
The regular season is set to begin Sept. 4 instead of Aug. 21.
Cheerleading (Aug. 8), cross country (Aug. 10), softball (Aug. 6) and volleyball (Aug. 10) are scheduled to open their seasons next month.
At Monday's meeting, board of trustees member Jesse Crews made a motion to keep the current GHSA calendar, but the motion was voted down by Forsyth County athletic director Nathan Turner and seven others, 8-4.
The vote to push back the start of the football season was unanimous. Football practice remains set to start July 27.
The football schedule will still feature a 10-game regular season, with five playoff rounds in the postseason.
However, the football state championships were originally scheduled for Dec. 10-12, meaning a two-week delay moves the championships games to Dec. 24-26.
The Corky Kell Classic is scheduled for Aug. 19-22, though Turner said he did not know how the schedule change will affect the annual event. West Forsyth is planning to host the first two games of the Corky Kell Classic, beginning with Carver vs. Cherokee and ending with Mays vs. West Forsyth.
West Forsyth athletic director Brett Phipps said earlier this month that attendance for the four-team jamboree will be capped at 4,000 people.
“Right now, I’m being told we’re going to max capacity at 4,000 in our stadium," Phipps said. "That’s roughly 1,000 tickers per team. If that wasn’t the case, I think I could have seen 10,000-plus people there that night. It is what it is. I get that we’re all in this boat together, so we’ll do what we’ve got to do.”
Phipps said there will be bleachers behind each end zone, which is where the bands will sit, allowing more seating room in the traditional bleachers. Phipps also said every other row will be marked off, allowing room for spectators to socially distance themselves.
The Corky Kell Classic was originally slated to be among the first high school football games in the country, potentially drawing nationwide interest, though it's uncertain now when those games will be played.
“You know, the thing I’ve learned in the last couple weeks is, it’s the first two games in the state of Georgia and it’s also the first two games in the United States of America that are being played," Phipps said. "As we get a little closer, if things continue on as they are and we’re going to play, I suppose it’s possible it could get a lot more attention than it normally gets, which is a little bit concerning and exciting all at the same time.”
Georgia is the 16th state to delay its fall high school sports season, joining Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
The California Interscholastic Federation on Monday announced its fall sports season will be delayed until 2021. The New Mexico Activities Association made a similar announcement earlier this month when the organization moved the start of its football season to March 4.
This story has been updated.