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Alabama High School Athletic Association member schools may reopen June 1, in accordance with Alabama State Department of Education superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey’s directive announced Thursday.

AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese said this is welcome news for the AHSAA and its member schools.

“The AHSAA, its Central Board of Control, along with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), has updated its guidelines regarding summer activities,” Savarese said. “The biggest change is our schools may reopen on June 1, a week earlier than the June 8 date previously discussed. We are elated to have a definite date for our coaches and student-athletes to return to their schools where they can continue to experience valuable educational lessons through athletics."

The ALSDE's new directive came alongside Gov. Kay Ivey's latest step in reopening the state. Athletic activities will still have to abide by the state's guidelines but can resume again for the first time since March. 

This announcement comes on the heels of the AHSAA's release about what guidelines will be in place once athletic programs are allowed to resume activities during the summer. The AHSAA said its member schools still need to confer with local administration regarding the reopening of on-campus activities.

The AHSAA also removed restrictions on group size for summer practices. 

"Group size is unlimited as long as physical distancing and all other current safety guidelines are maintained," AHSAA's FAQs page reads. "Coaches should consult with their administration for ALSDE/(Alabama Department of Public Health) guidelines related to physical distancing."

The update continues to encourage student-athletes to wear a mask or facial covering especially when participating in an activity that requires another person to be closer than 6 feet. 

Stay tuned for future updates from the AHSAA and reaction from local programs.