Upon the return of
high school sports, they’re likely to look a bit different and with several
safety precautions in place.
Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has released a set of
guidelines to give state associations like the IHSAA some guidance.
and athletes in some sports may be required to wear face coverings. For some
athletes, it may be only while they’re on the bench and sideline areas. And
if officials wear face coverings, whistles won’t work. In that case, they
might use noisemakers such as airhorns to stop play.
Locker rooms would
likely be closed at first with athletes showing up to practices and games
already in their workout gear or uniforms. They would then shower at home.
would be encouraged at team meetings and on buses when teams travel as well.
Athletes and coaches would be screened before practices and games, including
having their temperatures taken.
workouts, at least in the early phases of reopening, could have athletes
grouped into small pods of five to 10 athletes. Also weights and other
equipment would need to be wiped down thoroughly after each use.
Those are simply a
few of the recommendations.
The NFHS also broke
sports down into risk categories. The high risk sports included wrestling,
football, boys lacrosse and competitive cheer and dance because of the close
and frequent contact involved in them.
The moderate risk
sports included basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, tennis and
soccer because there is also contact in those spots and athletes handle the
to be low risk are cross country, track and field, swimming, golf and
The NFHS also
created three tiers of individuals from essential to non-essential for
athletic competitions. The Tier 1 group includes athletes, coaches,
officials, event staff, medical staff and security. The Tier 2 group is the
media. The Tier 3 group is spectators and vendors.
All of these are
recommendations and guidelines only. State athletic associations are advised
to work closely with their local and state health departments.
The NFHS said in
its press release that “it is essential to the physical and mental
well-being of high school students that they return to athletic