The N.C. High School Athletic Association today released guidelines for Phase Two of reopening for summer conditioning and workout activities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The new guidelines will take effect Monday.
Guilford County Schools announced July 17 that it was pushing back the start of workouts until "at least" Monday, and an update to that plan is expected this week. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has announced that it will allow its high schools to resume workouts Monday. Some school districts have been holding workouts since June.
"Coaches of schools that have not participated in Phase One are strongly encouraged to ensure a gradual return to activities, considering the condition of students who may have been physically inactive this summer," the NCHSAA said in its news release. "Additionally, it is important to 'teach' the daily monitoring protocol and ways that workouts will incorporate the '3 W’s' of mitigating COVID-19."
The NCHSAA announced that its board of directors voted Thursday to provide Phase Two guidance to member schools regarding summer conditioning and workout activities. But the association said schools should "consult with your school and LEA administrators relative to local rules and regulations.
The NCHSAA's Phase Two guidelines that are altered from phase one guidance are highlighted in gray. In some instances, Phase One and Phase Two guidelines are the same.”
Some of the highlights of the NCHSAA's new Phase Two guidelines (changes highlighted in gray at the association's website) are:
• Sharing of equipment is permissible within small groups/"pods."
• Wearing protective equipment remains prohibited.
• Equipment must be disinfected frequently, and it REQUIRES disinfecting before use by another pod.
• LAT’s/first responders are not REQUIRED; however, as noted in the Points of Emphasis, they should always be included when possible.
Due to the extreme heat and humidity we are experiencing, schools also must follow the requirements as listed in the NCHSAA Handbook, as well as observing local policies, the association said in its news release.
Schools and coaches are reminded that, per NCHSAA policy, participation in summer sports/activities cannot be required.
"The staff, board of directors and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee remain committed to administering sports/activities this fall, provided it can be done safely and in accordance with guidance from our state educational and medical partners," the NCHSAA said in its release. "Decisions relative to the September 1 start date will be made later in August."