NFHS releases guidelines for return of fall sports

High School Sports

(WRIC) – The National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) has released recommendations on how high school athletics can safely start this fall.

This comes as the Virginia High School League (VHSL) said they’re working on plans for the reopening of fall sports. VHSL is a member of the NFHS.

“As long as you’re receptive to things that are going to be changing, and can make that part of your daily routine, I think we’ll be good,” said Matt Gray, head football coach at Atlee High School.

NFHS breaks down a three phase reopening process:

Phase One:

  • Coaches and students should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to a workout
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people inside or outside and locker rooms should not be used
  • Weight equipment should be wiped down before being used
  • Students shouldn’t share equipment (this includes towels and clothes)
  • Students should bring their own water bottles

Phase Two:

  • Coaches and students should be screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to a workout
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people inside, up to 50 people can gather outdoors for workouts
  • Locker rooms can be used but with social distancing
  • Equipment should be wiped down before being used
  • Students shouldn’t share equipment
  • Students should bring their own water bottles

Phase Three:

  • Anyone with a fever or cold symptoms in the past 24 hours should not be included in workouts
  • Gathering sizes limited up to 50 people indoors or outdoors
  • Equipment should be wiped down before being used
  • Students shouldn’t share equipment
  • Hydration stations can be used but must be cleaned after every use

Students are encouraged to wear face coverings during phase one and phase two.

The guidelines also break down sports by potential infection risk based on close contact and protective barriers on athletes.

  • High risk: wrestling, football, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer, dance
  • Moderate risk: basketball, volleyball, baseball, soccer, water polo, gymnastics, ice hockey, field hockey, tennis, girls lacrosse, pole vault, high jump, long jump, crew
  • Low risk: Individual running events, throwing events (javelin, shot put, discus), individual swimming, golf, weightlifting, alpine skiing, sideline cheer, single sculling, cross country running (with staggered starts)

VHSL officials said there’s not a specific timeline of when guidelines will be ready. The NFHS encourages state organizations to work with their state and local health departments to make a plan.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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