(5-29-20) So what are the safety protocols in place as Ohio high schools start athletic conditioning programs?  That’s a question school administrators and coaches have been looking at since the Governor gave the ok to continue fitness conditioning.

For coaches and school administrators they now face issues that they have never had to deal with during their careers. The list of protocols is long and includes many detailed and time-consuming items to follow. Although many could have started on May 26th, others delayed it until they had looked over what they would need to have in place to meet requirements they were given.

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School districts had to consider state, OHSAA and NFHS protocols and county health departments requirements. There was no ‘cookie cutter’ plan to follow.

Last week the OHSAA sent out guidelines to school administrators, that information has not yet been shared with the public as of this posting. Despite those requirements, not all schools have the same protocols to follow. School administrators put together what their district would require student athletes to follow during the summer months.

Below are safety protocols from three different school districts from three different OHSAA Districts. They all have some different protocols listed, some unique to others. You might want to review them and what it will take to run a program during this COVID 19 pandemic. You will be surprised that there is more ‘don’t’ then ‘do’s’.

It will be a trying and frustrating time for both coaches and student-athletes. Who will oversee these guidelines? It will have to be school administrators and coaches. It won’t be a normal preseason for the upcoming school year.

Northwest District School – Liberty Center

Protocol - Liberty Center

Southwest District School – Northmont

Northmont High School Return to Play Protocols for Summer 2020

In recent weeks, Governor DeWine in conjunction with the Ohio High School Athletic Association gave high schools the approval to reopen athletic facilities to allow student-athletes to return for workouts. The original announcement gave schools the approval to reopen facilities on May 26th. Northmont City Schools made the decision to reopen athletic facilities on Monday, June 1st. The Northmont Athletic Department and administration, in conjunction with health care officials and the Northmont Athletic Training staff, have developed the protocols listed below in order to allow athletes and coaches to return to workouts in a safe and clean environment. These protocols were developed in accordance with OHSAA and Montgomery County Public Health guidelines.

We will be following the established social distancing guidelines. All workouts will be conducted with six feet spacing in mind.

A current OHSAA approved physical must be on file in order for a student to begin workouts. The link to the OHSAA form can be found here: 2020-2021 OHSAA Physical Form

All student-athletes are responsible for bringing their own water bottle to every workout.

A one gallon water container is the minimum recommendation. There will be no community water coolers or shared drinking bottles as has been provided in the past.

Students should not share water under any circumstance.

Athletes are asked to only use assigned entry and exit points to allow for hand sanitizing and help to maintain social distancing.

  • Door 13 will be the only entry point for all indoor workouts (weight room, Thunderdome, Bolts Gym).
  • Door 12 will be the exit point for all indoor workouts to avoid congestion.
  • The stadium entrance by the concession stand will be the main entry point for stadium workouts.

Students and coaches will be screened for symptoms upon entry to workouts. Workouts will be tracked and documented using QR codes. Students and coaches will scan in with the QR codes by using their phones.

After being cleared through the initial screening, athletes will be directed to touchless hand sanitizing stations before beginning their workouts.

Students are expected to show up in their workout gear and are expected to go home immediately after their workout. They are encouraged to shower at home. Locker Rooms will NOT be available at this time, and one designated restroom will be available at each facility.

Extra sanitizing will be done at the end of each workout prior to another group arriving for their workout. This will include sanitizing equipment (i.e. weight benches, barbells, balls, etc) and other high touch areas.

The Northmont custodial staff will also conduct daily cleaning protocols of athletic facilities.

Hand sanitizer will be available. Students are encouraged to have their own, if possible, and to wash hands whenever possible.

Student-athletes and parents are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled workout time, and to please pick up immediately following the workout so as to avoid lingering around and congestion that could make social distancing difficult.
Face masks are encouraged whenever possible, but athletes will not be required to wear masks during physical activity.

Outdoor facilities (i.e. track, stadiums, tennis courts, etc) will remain unlocked. If community members are using facilities, it is expected that they practice social distancing rules.

As a reminder, workouts and skill development are not mandatory. Conditioning and skill development is optional. It is the choice of the student-athlete and their family if he/she attends these workouts.

We look forward to a return to sports for the summer of 2020 in a safe and clean environment.

Please reach out to your coach with any individual questions. As the current situation is very fluid and constantly changing, we will continue to monitor best practices and will institute new protocols if necessary.

Southeast District – Gallia Academy

Gallia Academy

Protocols of other schools –