Phase One Plan of Return to High Sports Set to take effect on June 15: NCHSAA set to end Dead Period and let High School Sports Resume(We have ALL of the Details)

Posted by Press Release on June 8, 2020 at 10:53 am under High School, Photos | 21 Comments to Read

You can read below, as the NCHSAA plans to lift the Dead Period for high school sports on June 15…If all works out on the proper advisory levels, high school sports workouts can resume on June 15….Read more below, from the NCHSAA…
(Click On lower post parts for full details.)….With all of this information released today, there is Good News and there is Bad News…The Good News is high school sports are on their way back….The Bad News is you may have to hire an Army to keep up with all of these details…..

Effective June 15, the NCHSAA will lift the current Dead Period, provided each Local Education Agency (LEA) gives its okay and permission to do so. It is to be understood that Superintendents and local Boards of Education control when they will allow activities to resume in athletic facilities and venues.

The NCHSAA Staff has been working closely with the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) on recommendations for member schools regarding summer activities that align with NC DHHS directives. The guidance utilizes a phased approach for NCHSAA athletes and is intended to help school administrators, coaches, parents, students, and communities navigate a gradual reopening of high school athletic activities.

The health and safety measures outlined in this plan were formed utilizing CDC, DHHS, and NCHSAA information at this time. It is recognized, however, that the information and circumstances concerning COVID-19 remain fluid and variable. Therefore, these guidelines are subject to change in conjunction with new knowledge of COVID-19 or changing social conditions.

Phase One contains a set of General Requirements that apply across all sports, with specific requirements for each sport. Guidance for Phases Two and Three will be distributed in the coming weeks in consultation with state leaders.

In order for students to be able to participate in workouts, the following documents are required:

Physical Examination Form – dated on or after March 1, 2019
Initial Screening Questions – must be signed prior to beginning summer workout
Daily Monitoring Form – daily temperature and symptom check

In addition to approving these guidelines, the NCHSAA Board of Directors kept in place the June 29 – July 5 Dead Period. However, for this summer only, Board Members approved the elimination of the NCHSAA Dead Period scheduled for the week of the NC Coaches Association Clinic, Monday, July 20 – July 26. Schools and coaches are reminded that, per NCHSAA policy, participation in summer activities must not be required and cannot be a prerequisite for “making” a team.

**********NCHSAA Reopening Sports/Activities: Summer Guidance**********
Objective
To provide guidance for member schools to consider in designing return-to-activity protocols in accordance with state, county and NCHSAA restrictions. It allows for a coordinated reopening following the initial stay at home orders and may also be used if conditions dictate the need for increased restrictions in the future; thus, the NCHSAA is developing a multi-phased approach.

Belief Statements
The NCHSAA believes the safety and health of student athletes is vital for our member schools to begin summer workouts.
The NCHSAA believes it is essential to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of students to return to physical activity and athletic competition as soon as deemed safe. The NCHSAA believes that prior to allowing use of facilities, schools must review facility use agreements, especially in the areas of sanitation requirements and liability.

Points of Emphasis
Key Strategies: Frequent, effective hand hygiene; social distancing of at least 6 feet; disinfecting of high touch areas; avoid touching of the face; symptomatic individuals or individuals with exposure to COVID-19 within the past 14 days must not participate; development of plans specific to each school’s venues and facilities.

Limited COVID-19 testing availability, lack of resources for contact tracing, and expanding knowledge of COVID-19 transmission could all result in significant changes to this guidance. The NCHSAA will monitor these key data points and will disseminate more information as it becomes available, and prior to moving from phase to phase.

Administrators and coaches must emphasize the need for all coaches and participants who have signs or symptoms of illness to stay home to decrease risk of viral transmission, as they may transmit the virus to vulnerable individuals. Vulnerable individuals are defined as, but not limited to: people age 65 years and older and others with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system may compromised by treatment such as by chemotherapy for cancer, certain medication for rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions requiring immune suppression.

Licensed Athletic Trainers/First Responders are very important to resumption to athletics post-COVID-19. We strongly encourage their involvement during all phases.

Current pre-season conditioning and acclimatization models assume that athletes have deconditioned during the stay at home orders. Therefore, the intensity and duration of training must be moderated and monitored upon return. Towards that end, time limits will be indicated for each phase. It is strongly recommended that student athletes participate in only one session per day during Phase One.

Due to the possibility of recurrent outbreaks in the coming months, administrators must be prepared for periodic school closures and the possibility of some teams having to isolate for two or more weeks while in-season. The NCHSAA will work to develop policies regarding practice and/or competition during temporary school closures, the cancellation of contests during the regular season, and parameters for the cancellation or premature ending to post-season events/competitions.

NCHSAA Phases are in accordance with guidelines published by the NC DHHS and are subject to change. In order to move from one phase to the next, further criteria will be established, will be in accordance with the Governor and the DHHS, and will be strictly followed.

Pre-Participation Evaluation
Due to the timing of the Stay at Home Order and restrictions some areas may have participated in mass Preparticipation Physicals as has they have in the past. In May, the NCHSAA recognized this issue and allowed for a one-year extension for many student athletes.

The approved regulation now states:
All student athletes who had a valid Preparticipation Examination (PPE) form dated anytime between March 1, 2019 – May 1, 2020 (used for the 2019-2020 seasons) will be granted a temporary one-year extension through the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. If the student does not have a valid form from these dates, they will need an updated physical form prior to any summer workout or season participation.

Please be reminded that the student-athlete/family medical history portion of the PPE Form is required annually and must be completed and signed by the parent or legal custodian prior to participation during the 2020-2021 academic year. There is no waiver or extension applied to this requirement…

++++++++++NCHSAA++++++++++
Phase One

Facilities Cleaning
Adequate cleaning schedules must be created and implemented for all
athletic facilities. Bathrooms, if opened, must be disinfected after use.

Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, hard
surfaces within that facility must be disinfected (chairs, furniture in
meeting rooms, weight room equipment, bathrooms, athletic training
room tables, etc.).

Hand sanitizer (containing >60% ethanol or >70% isopropanol) must be
plentiful and available to individuals as they move from place to place.

Appropriate clothing/shoes must be worn at all times to minimize
sweat from transmitting onto equipment/surfaces.

Any equipment such as weight benches, athletic pads, etc. having holes
with exposed foam must be covered.

Students must be encouraged to shower and wash their workout
clothing immediately upon returning to home.

Once facilities are cleaned – individuals must wash their hands for a
minimum of 20 seconds with water and soap; or, in the absence of a
hand washing station, hand sanitizer may be used before touching any
surfaces or participating in workouts.

Entrance/Exit Strategies
Must develop a plan to prevent groups from gathering at
entrances/exits to facilities to limit crossover and contact, including
staggering starting/ending times.

Limitations on Gatherings
Workouts/conditioning limited to no more than 90 minutes in Phase
One.

Gatherings in outside venues are limited to no more than 25 people.

Gatherings in gymnasiums are limited to no more than 10 people.

The gathering numbers, as mentioned above, include coaches,
managers, trainers, etc.

Workouts should be conducted in “pods” of students with the same 5-
10 students working out together weekly (same grouping each day) to
limit overall exposures. Records must be maintained of the groupings to
facilitate contact tracing, if required. Smaller pods can be utilized for
weight training.

There must always be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each
individual. If this is not possible indoors, then the maximum number of
individuals in the room must be decreased to obtain a minimum
distance of 6 feet between each individual.

Pre-Workout Monitoring
All coaches and students must be screened daily for signs / symptoms of
COVID-19 prior to participating, including a temperature check.

Anyone with a temperature of 100.4° F or higher, or who reports any
COVID-like symptoms must not be allowed to participate; must be sent
home; and, should be directed to their primary care practitioner (Family
Medicine, Pediatrics or Internal Medicine) for evaluation and potential
need for further testing.

Responses to screening questions for each person must be recorded
and stored (see Monitoring Form attached).

The head coach (or designee) is responsible for collection of the data
from each day’s screening. Ideally this would be the same individual
each day for consistency.

Students or coaches who have a positive pre-workout screening must
not be allowed back until they have a note from their healthcare
provider indicating that they do not need to be tested or that their
symptoms are not due to COVID-19.

Students, coaches, staff considered vulnerable individuals, or those
concerned with contracting COVID-19 must not supervise or participate
in any workouts during Phase One.

Exposure of an Athlete, Coach,
or Staff Member to a Person
Who Tests Positive for
COVID-19

If a person on the team tests positive for COVID-19, all members of that
pod and those who had close contact with that individual should:

1. Quarantine (stay at home) until 14 days after your last exposure,
unless you have a negative PCR COVID-19 test.

2. Check your temperature twice a day and watch for developing
symptoms of COVID-19.

3. If possible stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting
very sick.contract4ing COVID-19

Athlete or Coach Who Tests
Positive for COVID-19

The local public health authority must be notified by the head coach (or
designee) to help with contact tracing.

TO RESUME WORKOUTS, an athlete or coach must meet each of the
following criteria:

1. No fever for 72 hours without fever reducing medications, since
recovery
2. Resolution of respiratory symptoms
3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
4. A note of clearance from a licensed medical provider (MD, DO, NP,
PA)

Face Coverings
State, local or school district guidelines for acceptable cloth face
coverings must be strictly followed. There is no need to require or
recommend “medical grade” masks for physical activity.

Coaches, staff, managers, etc. are strongly recommended to wear cloth
face coverings at all times and maintain 6-feet physical distancing.

Athletes are strongly recommended to wear a cloth face covering when
not actively engaged in physical activity and maintain 6-feet physical
distancing. Face masks should not be worn during activities that inhibit
breathing, (i.e. swimming, distance running, or other high aerobic
activity)

Face masks must not be shared.

Plastic shields covering the entire face will not be allowed during
participation due to the risk of unintended injury to the person wearing
the shield or to others.

Artificial noisemakers such as an air horn or a timer system with an
alarm, can be used as a signal in place of a traditional whistle.

Hygiene Practices
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand
sanitizer often, especially after touching frequently-used items or
surfaces.

Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow. Avoid
touching your face, eyes, and nose. Dispose of all tissues.
Disinfect frequently-used items and surfaces between use.
No spitting! – e.g. sunflower seeds, tobacco, phlegm.

Hydration/Food
No sharing of water bottles. All students must bring their own water
bottle, clearly marked with their name. Food must not be shared.
Hydration stations (water troughs, water fountains, etc.) must not be
utilized by individuals. Designate one person to refill water bottles when
needed.

Team Travel
No team travel permitted during Phase One.

Locker Rooms and
Athletic Training Areas

Locker rooms are closed during Phase One. Students must report in
appropriate attire and immediately return home to shower after
participation.

No students are allowed in the athletic training room. (If an emergency,
LAT must be present and appropriate disinfecting must occur
afterwards.)

School Weight and Mat
Rooms

Weight and mat rooms are closed during Phase One.

Weights, mats and other training equipment can be moved outdoors,
only, if they can be spaced 12 feet apart.

Any lifting equipment or mats must be disinfected between each use.
Spotters must wear a mask. Maintain 6 feet distancing as is possible.

Spectators
Spectators are not allowed during Phase One. Parents can remain in
their cars, if desired. However, there must be no congregating allowed
in the parking lot or on adjacent fields.

Physical Activity and
Athletic Equipment

There must be no sharing of athletic equipment –towels, clothing,
shoes, or sports specific equipment– between students.

Students must wear their own appropriate workout clothing (do not
share clothing); Individual clothing/towels must be washed and cleaned
after every workout.

All athletic equipment, including balls, must be cleaned after each
individual use and prior to the next workout.

Individual drills requiring the use of athletic equipment are permissible,
but the equipment must be cleaned prior to use by the next individual.

Physical contact such as high-fives, fist/elbow bumps, and hugs are not
be allowed.

General Activity Description

ONLY Individual Skill Development and Workouts;
Maintain Physical Distancing; No Contact with Others No
Sharing of Equipment; No Grouping

Lower Infection Risk Activities Activities that can be done with physical distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.

NCHSAA Sports & Activities: cross country (with staggered starts), golf, baseball, softball, swimming*, diving, tennis, track and field*

Notes: In swimming, relays need to maintain social distance. In track and field, any field event with an implement/mat needs to be cleaned after each use and masks could be worn by participants

Cross Country Runners must maintain at least 6 feet of distancing between
individuals, no grouping (i.e. starts and finishes).

Golf Maintain appropriate physical distancing of at least 6 feet.

Baseball
Conditioning and “tee” or pitching machine work. Players must not
share gloves or bats or throw a single ball that will be tossed among
the team. A single player may hit in cages, throw batting practice (with
netting as backstop, no catcher). Prior to another athlete using the
same balls, they must be collected and disinfected individually.

Dugouts must be closed in Phase One.

Softball
Conditioning and “tee” or pitching machine work. Players must not
share gloves or bats or throw a single ball that will be tossed among
the team. A single player may hit in cages, throw batting practice (with
netting as backstop, no catcher). Prior to another athlete using the
same balls, they must be collected and disinfected individually.

Dugouts must be closed in Phase One

Swimming and Diving Maintain appropriate physical distancing of at least 6 feet at all times.

Tennis
Conditioning; no sharing of balls; each player may use own can of balls
to serve. Ball machine use by individuals only. Players may do
individual drills, wall volleys and serves. Disinfect down rackets and
balls afterwards.

Track and Field
Runners must maintain at least 6 feet of distancing between
individuals, no grouping (i.e. starts and finishes). No sharing of
implements / equipment (e.g. relay baton, shot put, discus). Padded
equipment / landing pits/poles must be disinfected between use.

Higher Infection Risk Activities Activities that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

**********NCHSAA Sports & Activities: football, cheerleading, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, wrestling, volleyball**********
Football
Wearing protective equipment is prohibited during Phase One.

Conditioning and individual drills only. A player must not participate in
drills with a single ball that will be handed off or passed to other
teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed. Tackling
dummies / donuts / sleds must be disinfected after each use.

Cheerleading
Conditioning and individual technique/choreography work.
Students may not practice/perform partner or group stunts. Chants,
jumps, dance, tumbling without contact are permissible with 6-foot
physical distancing.

Lacrosse
Wearing protective equipment is prohibited during Phase One.
Conditioning and individual drills. Contact with other players is not
allowed. There can be no sharing of equipment.

Basketball
Conditioning, individual basketball skill drills; no contact or sharing of
balls. A player may practice shooting and must retrieve own ball. A
player must not participate in drills with a single ball that will be
handed off or passed to other teammates.

Soccer
Conditioning, individual ball skill drills, each player has own ball which
is disinfected at the end of practice. Feet only (no heading/use of
hands); no contact.

Wrestling
Mat room closed in Phase One. Conditioning, mirror drills with
spacing, no contact. Wrestlers may skill and drill, without touching a
teammate, with six-foot distancing.

Volleyball
Conditioning, individual ball handling drills, each player has own ball.
A player must not participate in drills with a single ball that will be
bumped, served, or passed to other teammates.


  • Fridayfan said,

    Not sure how much quality prep this will allow.
    This could be a recipe for disaster. I respect the coaches but wont be shocked if a few of the rules get overlooked. We know coaches push the envelope on occasion. Not saying all of them but some do. Heaven forbid the star player temp is 100.8, is he going to be sent home?
    Thinking each team needs to drop at least 2 games if not more.

  • Andy Durham said,

    If they keep the rules sort of like this, and I know they won’t because things will change as the season draws nigh, but if the the rules stayed the same as currently listed:

    If you got the ball to the opponent’s six-yard line, do you go ahead and put the six points on the board and get the TD???

    Ball is on the six-yard line and your are supposed to keep a six-foot social distancing rule in place, if the ball is on the six, do you have to go ahead and add on the six points???

    You have to stay six feet away….Does this mean an automatic six, from the six…And do your linebackers have to say six feet off the ball, and if your defensive linemen have to be six feet back from the ball, they better be very quick on their stunts into/toward the offensive backfield…

    Just some hypotheticals and we may need more hypothermic needles than football air needles, this Fall….

  • Andy Durham said,

    from Allen Plaster, Athletic Director at East Forsyth High School…And coming in from Twitter…

    Allen Plaster

    While the NCHSAA has lifted the dead period next week, this will not apply to WSFCS/Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. Our campuses are still closed. We will announce here when we can start summer workouts.

  • Fridayfan said,

    Lol andy i hope that was a just a funny way to say you think they should wait a bit longer?
    Fcs says hold on a minute any word from gcs?

  • Andy Durham said,

    No word so far from the Guilford County Schools…

    Comment meaning if you take all of the guidelines literally, it could make for some very hard situations to control/govern, or it could be we would have games that would not look normal(Things will not be normal, but how do we get back to the way we had things before/previoulsy?)…

    Just thinking outside-of-the-box, while trying to really figure out how to get outside of the box…

  • Andy Durham said,

    From Twitter I am seeing the return date for Davidson County and Wake County will be July 6…..

  • fridayfan said,

    i know and it was funny. No silver bullet or perfect fix we will see. Not sure nchsa understands the prep time it takes for football. Lot of kids could not work with trainers or have weight rooms. Install plays conditioning it takes some time now. WHich is why i was thinking they drop a few games. Other side is you lose some revenue and nobody likes that.

  • Andy Durham said,

    For some conferences it might work out best to just play a conference schedule…But in some cases, with the smaller conferences, they would need to play a few more games, find some non-conference teams they could match up with…

  • Andy Durham said,

    With the Mid-State Conference you have NEG, NG, McMichael, Morehead, Eastern Alamance, Western Alamance, Person County, Rockingham County…

    That’s gives you at least a 7-game season, if you play conference foes only this season…

  • Andy Durham said,

    GREENSBORO — The N.C. High School Athletic Association may be ready to allow workouts to resume June 15, but Guilford County Schools will take a more “measured” approach, county athletics director Leigh Hebbard says.

    Guilford County not ready to come back on June 15…..

  • JP Mundy said,

    I’d say that July 6 date keeps creeping up. There are a lot of moving parts to consider…and money.

  • Andy Durham said,

    July 4 is on Saturday, then you’ve got Sunday July 5 and Monday July 6 looks like a very good target date…

    Several other counties are using that July 6 date…Looks like a very good possibility for the return date…

  • Andy Durham said,

    Not trying to be a smart alec, but the boys and girls would have had a tough time out there on the field this morning/Tuesday morning…

    It was so thick this morning with that humidity, that there would have been several that might have been falling out…

    Got to find a way to get ready and acclimated to this hot and humid weather…It is a sea of humidity out there on days like today….

    Better be hitting it enough to be ready…You might be losing 5 pounds(fluid) on day like this one….

    I know there will still be heat regulations during certain times of the day, but this humidity is a bear, and that bear can bear tough news at any hour of the day….

    Need to be getting ready on the road or in/on the field at home…

  • Andy Durham said,

    David Kehrli from the Burlington Times-News…..
    @DavidKehrliTN

    The Alamance-Burlington School System is planning to allow athletic activities starting July 6.

    On Monday, the NCHSAA announced school districts could begin June 15 with district approval. Waiting 3 more weeks allows more time for ABSS to be prepared.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools won’t allow high school sports to resume until at least July 6.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Gaston County Schools will delay the start of football, other fall sports, to July 6. The NCHSAA dead period allows teams to return Monday(June 15).

  • Andy Durham said,

    East Surry High School:

    See everyone July 6th! Make sure you are exercising and acclimating yourself to the heat between now and then!

  • Andy Durham said,

    Providence Grove Athletics is excited about returning to sports next week.

    Providence Grove will resume athletic workouts on Tuesday June 16.

  • Just Wondering said,

    We are reading everyday that the number of Covid cases are rising and hospitalizations are setting new records in North Carolina. Why are we in such a rush? Also, will parents allow their athletes to return to summer practices/school?

  • Andy Durham said,

    If the kids are ready they should be able/allowed to return…

    They need to be doing the running and lifting weights on their own at home now with their schools off-limits..

    If they work in small groups, some kids should be allowed to go ahead and get back to the school starting on Monday June 15…

    Get them in there in small groups, and I’m talking about football players here, and get them started with some limited work, before you bring everybody back full force…

    School should be out now, and the coaches could work with 3-4, or 4-5 kids per hour each day, say Monday-Wednesday-Friday and you would begin to start scratching the surface….

    Follow the guidelines and then seek a total return date in July, after the 4th of July holiday…

    It is like coming back after a vacation, a holiday, or after a sickness….Work it all back in gradually…

    I agree there is no real rush, but you have to start laying some groundwork for football…

    If you are going to play in August or September, you need to get some work in, in July…

    It is going to take professional baseball at least a month to get ready again, once they decide when they will play games this season, if they do play games in 2020…

    Just a few thoughts…I’m sure others have more…

  • Andy Durham said,

    Stokes Co. Schools will lift its dead period on high school sports July 6.