It is with great excitement that we announce our plan to return to fall sports! On August 14, the FHSAA Board made the decision to push forward with an August 24 start date for fall sports in the state of Florida. As a school, our highest priority is getting our students back on campus for the school day. We believe that in the best interest of our students, coaches, and school community, we plan to open our cross country, football, swimming, and volleyball seasons on Monday, August 31. This date coincides with the campus opening of the Upper School.
Due to the nature of social distancing in the sport of golf, our boys and girls golf teams will begin their seasons on Wednesday, August 26. All sports require a 2 week acclimatization period before the regular-season competition can begin. Golf will return to competition the week of September 7, and all other sports will start their regular season competition the week of September 14. The FHSAA also announced a deadline of September 18 to inform the FHSAA of a school's intention to participate in the fall state series, giving each community some flexibility in their fall schedules due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The FHSAA will also waive the minimum game requirement to qualify for the postseason, due to the pandemic.
Our fall athletes will continue with their conditioning program over this week in preparation for the regular season. As we make the transition from conditioning to practices, we will have many safety measures in place to keep our students safe, and we ask that our student-athletes do their part in adhering to these protocols. Our teams and coaches will work within the guidelines and policies provided by the FHSAA and NFHS (National Federation of State High School Association). We are unsure at this time as to whether we will be able to allow spectators at games and events. This decision will be dictated by both state and local guidelines regarding mass gatherings and considerations that are unique to our school community and facilities.
The Benjamin School is committed to continuing to provide the very best school experience to our families. We understand that part of that commitment is offering a variety of activities in addition to the regular school day. We believe that athletics plays a vital role in the development of our students, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to provide an athletic experience for our students during this difficult time.
As we get closer to reopening with students here at school, I want to update you regarding Middle School Athletics. First, please always check BucLines - our weekly eblast - for the most current information regarding athletic schedules and events. BucLines is updated every Friday and includes information about athletic sign ups for students, practices, and game schedules. Just click the “Athletics” tab on the right-hand side of the BucLines page to see this information.
Next, our plans for the fall season: All fall sports (football, volleyball and tennis) will be INTRAMURAL. When students return to campus next Monday, August 31, they will be able to sign-up for these teams if they wish to participate. The first practices will start on September 8 and will run from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday. If a student is playing varsity cross country or swimming, their practices will start on Wednesday, August 26th. Please note: a student must be in attendance at school on-campus for him/her to be eligible to play on any team at Benjamin.
Please also note that in order to participate, students must have an up-to-date physical and consent form on file with the school. If we do not have these forms, the student will not be allowed to participate. Students will be required to wear masks during practice, but they will be allowed to remove the masks for physical activity. Students must bring their own water bottles (labeled with their name) for workouts.
If you have any questions, e-mail Middle School Director of Athletics Toby Harbeck.
GO BUCS !!