(6-19-20) Yesterday Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted declared what appeared to be good news for contact sports in Ohio.
The announcement was proceeded by OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass’s tweet
The follow-up tweets by Snodgrass and new guidelines posted on the State’s COVID 19 site leads us to that famous quote from ESPN’s Lee Corso –
‘Not so fast, my friend’
The memo sent out to member schools will not be released to media right away, although some media sources have obtained the memo.
Governor’s Announcements to Responsibly Restart Sports
Phase 2 Announced Thursday . . . What exactly does that mean?
With Thursday’s announcement, Phase 2 permissions will begin on Monday, June 22. Mandatory and recommended restrictions are posted at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Contact-Sport-Practices-Non-Contact-Sport.pdf. Please read these carefully and we would recommend posting these and sharing them with participants and your various attendees in your open gyms/workouts/etc. Basically:
– Beginning Monday, June 22, schools may now have open gyms/open fields/workouts/training for Contact Sports.
– All NON/LOW-Contact sports may continue with competitions previously granted beginning May 26.
– Daily assessments of participants must still occur as previously required.
– “Spectators” (parents, others) are permitted but must follow restrictions that include social distancing.
– While there is no restriction on the number permitted to attend Open Gyms/Fields/Facilities, any individuals not participating in intra-team play or skill sessions must remain socially distanced. Example: If you have 20 individuals playing in two open gym cross court games, any remaining individuals must remain socially distanced when not playing. Consider limiting attendance for this reason.
– Athletic Trainers have restrictions identified that include wearing facemasks when treating an individual.
– Skill Training identified from May 26 may still occur.
– Since the OHSAA’s “10-Day Rule” has been waived for the summer of 2020, there is no limit to the number of days in which coaches/schools may conduct open gyms/open fields/workouts/training.
– Local Health Departments continue to be given control/oversight of schools and facilities within their jurisdiction. They retain the right to restrict permissions in Phase 2.
Note 1: The word “Scrimmages” is used in regulations within Phase 2. In school sport language, the term ‘scrimmage’ generally references competitions between schools that do not have to follow all the normal playing rules of the game. In the context of the Governor’s orders, ‘scrimmage’ refers to games/competitions being played only with members attending your ‘Open Gym’ or ‘workout.’ Competitions between different schools or communities is NOT permitted at any time during Phase 2 for contact sports. NO ‘7 on 7’s,’ ‘Summer Tournaments’ or ‘Team Camps’ involving different schools or communities is permitted for contact sports during Phase 2.
Note 2: While many of us have received communications from different venues/colleges announcing ‘Team Camps,’ there is still no date announced by the Governor in which these would be permitted. Under Phase 2 restrictions, they currently are not permitted.
Note 3: Many have asked about teams participating in out-of-state ‘events/competitions,’ especially in Indiana. Each state has different restrictions. While CDC guidelines for sports lists individuals/teams from one geographic area traveling to another geographic areas as the highest risk for spreading COVID-19, there are no mandated restrictions.
Note 4: While “Phase 3” appears as the inevitable next step, there has been NO suggestion or indication of what the date for launching “Phase 3” would be.
The following five page document – Summer Recommendations is presently posted on the OHSAA web site. The document has all three phase requirements listed, this is from the earlier period in late May.
Some highlights –
Until there is a cure, vaccine, or effective treatment is readily available, social distancing and other preventative measures will be the‘new normal’ during any aspect of sport in Ohio.(from introduction section)
PHASE TWO (on page 4 of document)
:•All coaches and students should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a workout, to include a temperature check.Please see the sample OHSAA COVID-19 Monitoring sheet provided
.•Responses to screening questions should be recorded and stored for contact tracing purposes if a COVID-19 infection occurs.
•Any person with positive responses on the screening should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact their medical provider.
•Vulnerable individuals should not oversee or participate in any workouts during Phase Two.
Limitations on Gatherings:
•Gatherings should not consist of more than 10 people at a time inside. Up to 50 people may gather outdoors for workouts.
•If locker rooms or meeting rooms are used, there should be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual at all times.•Indoor workouts should be conducted in “pods” of students with the same 5-10 people (including coaches). Smaller pods should be utilized for weight training.
•There should be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual at all times. Appropriate social distancing should be maintained on sidelines and benches. Consider using tape or field paint as a guide for students and coaches.
•Adequate cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities.
•Prior to an individual or group entering a facility, all hard surfaces within that facility should be wiped down and sanitized. Hard surface examples include but are not limited to chairs, furniture, locker rooms, weight room equipment, bathrooms, and training tables
.•Individuals should wash their hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.
•Hand sanitizer should be plentiful and available to individuals.
•Weight equipment should be wiped down thoroughly before and after each individual uses the equipment.
•Shirts and shoes should be worn at all times
.•Any equipment such as weight benches, athletic pads, having holes with exposed foam should be covered.
•Students should be encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning home.
‘Physical Activity and Athletic Equipment:
•Lower risk sports practices may resume.
•Modified practices may begin for Moderate Risk sports/activities.
•There should be no shared athletic towels, clothing, or shoes between students.
•Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing, and individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout.
•All athletic equipment, including balls, should be cleaned intermittently during practices and between practices/sessions.
•Hand sanitizer should be readily available.
•Maximum lifts should be limited and power cages should be used for squats and bench presses. Spotters should stand at each end of the bar.
•All students should bring their own water bottle, and water bottles should not be shared.
•Hydration stations (water fountains, water troughs, etc.) should not be use
A two-page document from the State on what Phase 2 consists of that will allow contact sports to re-start on June 22nd.
State Guidelines Shared
This looks to be the ‘new normal’, school administrators and coaches will enter a new stage in high school sports.