Guidelines for Return to Play/Practice Team Sports

by SCHSL Communications

Guidelines for Return of High School Sponsored Team Sports

These guidelines are intended for application in non-health care related places of employment. The foundation guidelines for businesses and employers remain the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

All organizations have to determine how best to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace as well as in their community. In order to reopen and successfully remain open for business, everyone individually and collectively must actively participate in the core recommendations:

1. Self-isolation – if you are sick, stay home

2. Practice social distancing of at least six feet distance to the greatest extent possible

3. Wash hands frequently (20 seconds with soap and water or use of a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol)

4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (e.g., keyboards, phones) and surfaces (e.g., handrails, workstations, sinks) or remove unnecessary frequently touched surfaces (e.g., trash can lids)

5. Avoid touching of eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

6. Strongly consider wearing a cloth face covering when in public (do not use on children under two years old, people with difficulty breathing or people who cannot remove the mask themselves)

7. Cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues away immediately after use

8. Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment when possible, or disinfect them before and after use

9. Minimize the use of soft surfaces like cloth-covered chairs or area rugs that are more difficult to clean or disinfect.

Guidelines Specifically for High School Sports: Prepared by the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL)

In addition to the above referenced general guidelines, the recommendations below are designed to further reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 during athletic workouts, training, or competition. Following these guidelines does not guarantee that transmission of the virus will not occur.

Participating in organized sport comes with a risk of contracting COVID-19, other illnesses, or injuries. Students, coaches, or staff who either 1) have pre-existing medical conditions that place them at higher risk of infection, or 2) those who do not want to risk contracting COVID-19 should refrain from participating in high school sports.

The SCHSL taskforce is proposing a three-phased approach to begin when group academic activities are permitted in the districts and/or schools. This document outlines the requirements of Phase 1. Future revisions will include Phases 2 and 3. Movement through these phases is contingent upon successfully meeting the challenges of each prior phase. The overarching goal of ALL phases is minimizing or eliminating the number of COVID-19 cases that can be attributed to time spent in organized sports activities. To be successful in moving forward through the phases, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT ALL PARTICIPANTS, COACHES AND STAFF CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES WHILE AWAY FROM SPORTING ACTIVITIES AS WELL.

CLICK HERE for the full PDF version of the guidlines.

The SCHSL will host an online membership Q & A next week. The meeting will be visible to the public and questions will be answered in the allotted time online as well as offline. Once the specifics of the online meeting are finalized, they will share with their membership and the general public.

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