When Do High School Sports Project Opening ?
We are now hearing about professional sports teams planning their return from suspended play or in Major League Baseball's case or the NFL starting their season. College sports are beginning to formulate plans for football teams to return to campus. What about high school sports and their return from the effects of COVID-19 ?
The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) has compiled guidelines for the roll out of practices and then the return to competition. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is among the over 18,000 members of the NFHS. Procedures are outlined over three phases. These guidelines are to be followed before any contact play resumes and until a valid treatment or vaccine is established or herd immunity occurs. Portions of those phases follow:
In Phase One all athletes and coaches are to be screened and have their temperature taken before any workout. Gatherings will be limited to ten people and no locker room usage is permitted. There is to be no shared use of equipment or apparel including towels.
Phase Two permits limited locker room use of no more than a group of 50 people. Low-risk sports can begin workouts including golf, swimming, weightlifting, baseball, softball and soccer. All Phase One guidelines are to continue as well.
Phase Three enables modified practices to be held for high-risk sports like wrestling, football, boys lacrosse and cheerleading and dance routines.
There are still plenty of things to work out including starting dates and how much time is needed to adequately and safely train an prepare student athletes for competition. All NYSPHSAA spring sports were shutdown and canceled due to COVID-19. There are thousands of high school athletes in New York and Pa. who are anxious to find out if and when they can return to play.