FLORENCE, S.C. — SCISA athletic director Mike Fanning said the first week of May would ideally be the latest time to resume this sports season — if that is allowed.
“I’d say if it’s much later than the first week of May, then the options become more limited,” Fanning said. “If you’re given one week, maybe have your school get with a closer school and have an athletic senior night at your school one night, and then have one at their school another night.
“Whatever we’re allowed to do, we’re going to put our best foot forward,” he added.
No SCISA games have been played since March 14, and with schools closed by order of Gov. Henry McMaster, no practices can be held, either.
But Fanning has plans if the season somehow gets to resume.
“We have not canceled the spring. If we got the green light today, that we could start tomorrow, we’d tell schools if they couldn’t play tomorrow, they ought to be playing Thursday,” he added.
Among the ideas for baseball and softball games are going from seven innings to five. And either have just region tournaments or put together a one-day softball single-elimination tournament and two-day baseball single-elimination tourney for state.
Fanning said another adjustment would be pitch count.
“We’d have to come down on the pitch count,” Fanning said. “Maybe put a 50-pitch count limit for kids. We can’t just come back in a two- to three-week period and have a kid overthrow.”
As for the other sports?
“We could do track, softball, golf, tennis all in one day,” Fanning said.
Because one focus would be on having as much in-class time as possible if school resumes, Fanning has revised ideas for the golf tournament, which was won by Trinity-Byrnes last year in the Class 2A team division.
“It won’t be two days, 36 holes where kids are out of school playing golf,” Fanning said. “We’ll probably have a one-day, nine-hole tournament and will start it at 3:30 in the afternoon after school at three different sites.”
But that’s not all.
“We’ll maintain the best practices to minimize the person-to-person contact that was established before the season was halted,” Fanning said. “No handshakes, and we’ll debate whether fans can attend. All that’s on the table if we’re allowed to go back.”
Fanning said attempting to conduct graduation ceremonies will be the highest priority.
“If there’s a window of opportunity, the No. 1 priority will be graduation,” Fanning said. “These seniors have worked hard for this since they were in kindergarten.”
And then, there is one other factor to consider.
“What happens if all the schools don’t come back at the same time?” Fanning asked. “What if one school board wants to go ahead and stay out? All the predictions are we’re still three or four weeks away from the peak. How bad will the peak be? What all should we do? What all can we do? All we can do is take it week by week.”