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Pinellas County public schools to begin fall sports practices Monday

For now, the county plans to make its public schools eligible for the state playoff series.
Pinellas County football, among other fall sports, will opt in for the state playoff series this season.
Pinellas County football, among other fall sports, will opt in for the state playoff series this season. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Aug. 18, 2020

The revised fall sports calendar for the bay area now appears complete.

Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett announced Tuesday morning that public schools in his county may begin fall sports practices Monday, with the first contests set for Sept. 8 and the first football games Sept. 11.

The announcement came after Bennett met Tuesday with his advisory committee and superintendent Michael Grego. Bennett indicated if local COVID-19 numbers remain stable once classes and practices commence, his sports programs would make themselves eligible for the state playoff series.

Related: Hernando County set to begin fall prep sports season Sept. 14

On Friday, the Florida High School Athletic Association’s board of directors voted to allow state schools to begin fall sports practices Aug. 24. School districts hit especially hard by the COVID-19 crisis have until Sept. 18 to opt out of the state playoff series and can devise their own 2020-21 sports calendars, with the help of the association staff.

The tentative starting practice dates for all four bay area counties are as follows:

Hillsborough: Monday

Pinellas: Monday

Pasco: Sept. 7

Hernando: Sept. 14