Chesterton Tribune



High School sports may have a different look this fall

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Upon the return of high school sports, they’re likely to look a bit different and with several safety precautions in place.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has released a set of guidelines to give state associations like the IHSAA some guidance.

Coaches, officials 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.

Social distancing 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.

Practices and 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 same ball.

Sports considered to be low risk are cross country, track and field, swimming, golf and sideline cheering.

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 competition.”


Posted 6/5/2020




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