NCHSAA and MACS Phase 1 Rules and Procedures
I. Number of Participants, Pod Groups, & Social Distancing
- Under Phase 1, outside activity can include up to 25 individuals at the same time. This includes the coaches, volunteers, and the athletic trainer.
- Inside activity can include up to 10 individuals at the same time, including coaches, volunteers, and the athletic trainer.
- During Phase 1, the fitness center/weight room will be closed.
- During activity, all participants (including coaches) are to maintain a 6 foot space between one another at all times (including during workouts, practice, etc.). No contact with others. Physical contact such as high-fives, fist/elbow bumps, and hugs are not allowed.
- Coaches will be organizing workout/training groups in Pods of 5 to 10, and that same group will work together weekly, to limit exposure. The Athletic Director or the Athletic Trainers will administer and keep track of the pods, temperatures, and wellness checklist.
- Only 1 practice session per day per person is allowed for a maximum time of 90 minutes during Phase 1.
- Spectators are not allowed during Phase I. Parents can remain in cars if desired, but there must be no congregating allowed in the parking lot or an adjacent field.
- There must be no sharing of athletic equipment (towels, clothing, shoes, sports specific equipment) between student-athletes.
II. Sanitation and Protective Measures
- Any athlete or coach who has symptoms or has been exposed to COVID-19 within the past 14 days cannot participate until cleared by a doctor, or, they have been isolated for 14 consecutive days. Athletes and coaches will not be allowed to return until a note is provided by their healthcare provider, stating that they do not need to be tested, or, that their symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
- Any player or coach that is considered vulnerable due to age or underlying health concerns should not participate.
- Players should plan on arriving at least 45 minutes prior to practice every day, as each player will need a temperature check each day before being allowed to practice. The athletic trainer will take each player and coaches temperature, and if the temperature is at or above 100.4 F, they will be asked to leave until they speak with a medical professional before returning.
- Results of screening is to be recorded each day, and will be done so by the athletic trainer or head coach.
- All participants, including coaches, will have to bring a mask to practice/training. Cloth face coverings are fine. When meeting or talking in a socially distant group on the sideline or any indoor space, all should be wearing their mask/cloth face covering.
- Athletes should arrive at practice fully dressed and ready for practice. In other words, bathrooms should not be used for changing or the gathering of groups. Immediately after practice, workout and practice, student-athletes should return home, and clothing should be washed and cleaned prior to the next workout.
- When physical activity begins, athletes may continue to wear their mask, but for higher aerobic needs, are not required to wear the mask. Any player has the right to choose to wear an appropriate face covering at any time. Coaches cannot tell a player to remove their mask/face covering at anytime.
- Plastic face shields covering the entire face are not allowed during participation due to the risk of unintended injury.
- Coaches may use artificial noise (air-horn, timer system, scoreboard) instead of a whistle.
- To begin, athletic equipment will not be shared between players. All players will have their own ball to work with, and there will be no team play during this phase of the resumption of athletics. In other words, no live game situations of any kind where players are physically touching or breathing on one another (1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, 4 on 4, 5 on 5, and all the way up, will not be allowed). Players must maintain 6 feet of distance from one another.
- Individual drills requiring the use of athletic equipment are permissible, but the equipment must be cleaned after each individual use and prior to the next workout.
- Athletes should bring their own water. The school will not supply bottles at this time, so athletes should bring their own water bottle or cooler. No sharing of water bottles or food.
- Athletes are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer. Sanitation wipes and spray will be available for coaches to use for the sanitation of equipment that belongs to the school. Immediately following practice, coaches will sanitize this equipment.
- No athletes or coaches will be allowed in the training room during Phase 1.
III. If Exposed to COVID-19, What Should You Do?
- Any athlete who is feeling sick should not attend workouts.
- If a coach or athlete on a team tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the Pod and those who had close contact to the individual should do the following: (1) Stay at home for 14 days after your last exposure, unless you have a negative PCR COVID-19 Test. (2) Check your temperature twice a day and watch for developing symptoms. (3) Stay away from people that are at high-risk of becoming very sick and contracting COVID-19.
- To resume workouts, a coach or athlete must meet each of the following criteria in order to return: (1) No fever for 72 hours since recovering from COVID-19 without the use of fever reducing medication. (2) All respiratory symptoms are gone. (3) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. (4) A note of clearance from a licensed medical provider.
- The local public health authority must be contacted and notified for tracing purposes.
IV. General Activity Description of Workouts
Phase 1 = Only individual skill development and workouts.
The NCHSAA has identified two risk categories as it pertains to sports/activities: Lower Infection Risk Activities and Higher Infection Risk Activities.
Lower risk activities include: cross country, golf, baseball, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field.
Higher risk activities include: football, cheerleading, dance, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, wrestling, volleyball, and field hockey.
Below is a sport by sport breakdown of what to expect under Phase 1 for
Lower Risk Sports:
Baseball – Conditioning and “tee” or pitching machines work. Players must not share gloves or bats. A single ball cannot be tossed among the team. A single player may hit in cages, throw batting practice (with netting as backstop, no catcher). Prior to another athlete using the same balls, they must be collected and disinfected individually. Dugouts are closed in phase 1.
Cross Country – Runners must maintain a distance of 6 feet, and no groupings at the start or finish.
Golf – Must maintain a distance of 6 feet from other golfers.
Softball – See baseball above.
Swimming & Diving – Maintain 6 feet distance at all times.
Tennis – Conditioning is allowed. No sharing of tennis balls. Each player may use own can of balls to serve. Ball machines can be used by individuals only. Players must do individual drills, wall volleys and serves. Disinfect rackets and balls afterwards. Maintain distance of 6 feet.
Track & Field (including Indoor Track) – Maintain 6 feet distance at all times. No grouping of athletes. No sharing of implements or equipment. All equipment must be disinfected between use.
Below is a sport by sport breakdown of what to expect under Phase 1 for
Higher Risk Sports:
Basketball – Conditioning and individual drills are allowed. No contact or sharing of balls. A player must maintain 6 feet distance from another player. Can practice shooting and retrieve own ball. Cannot participate in drills where a single ball is shared between other teammates.
Cheerleeding and Dance - Conditioning and individual technique/choreography work is allowed. Cheerleaders may not practice/perform partner or group stunts. Chants, jumps, dance, tumbling without contact are allowed with a distance of 6 feet.
Field Hockey- Conditioning and individual drills allowed. Each player must have their own ball. No contact and must maintain 6 feet distance.
Football – Wearing protective equipment is not allowed during phase 1. Conditioning and individual drills only. A player must not participate in drills with a single ball that will be handed off or passed to other teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed. Tackling equipment/dummies/sleds must be disinfected after each individual use. Must maintain a distance of 6 feet.
Lacrosse - May not wear protective equipment during Phase 1. Conditioning and individual drills are allowed. Contact with other players is not allowed. No sharing of equipment. Maintain distance of 6 feet.
Soccer – Conditioning and individual drills allowed. Each player has own ball, which is disinfected at the end of practice. Use feet only… no heading or use of hands. No Contact. Maintain 6 feet distance.
Volleyball – Conditioning and individual drills allowed. Each player has own ball. A player must not participate in drills with a single ball that will be bumped, served, or passed to other teammates. Must maintain 6 feet distance.
Wrestling- Mat room closed in Phase One. Conditioning, mirror drills with spacing, no contact. Wrestlers may skill and drill, without touching a teammate, with six-foot distancing.