Most sporting events in America have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic since March, and high school sports were no exception. As some major sports leagues are preparing to resume and most of the soccer associations have successfully returned, high school sports are hoping to recommence, too.
High schools all around the country are trying to figure out safe ways for athletes to train during this time of incredible uncertainty. While some states allow high school sports to return without any restrictions or new rules, most of them have postponed or are even considering delaying the fall season sports. One thing is for sure, it will not be the same as last year or any other time.
Nebraska Set to Go
Nebraska is one of the states that did not enforce any restrictions on the resumption of high school sports as Governor Pete Ricketts allowed this to happen following the most recent directed health measure. Nebraska School Activities Association, NSAA, said schools now have the ability to hold camps and various sports programs.
NSAA Executive Director Jay Bellar explained that he is not sure whether this is the right way to go at such time. But the state needs to start somewhere, and it will be okay as long as the health department officials and the governor’s office says there is no problem coming back.
Michigan Comes Up with Great Solution
Unlike Nebraska, Michigan suggests swapping the fall and spring season for high school sports. Governor Gretchen Whitmer recommends moving all close-contact sports like football to spring while moving distanced sports like golf, tennis, and track to fall.
Some football teams have already started conditioning workouts. The Michigan High School Athletic Association hopes to come up with plans and ideas for sports to resume in the fall, while following all guidelines set by the state to ensure health and safety for the student-athletes.
SC Governor Warns Sports Do Not Look Likely
On Friday, June 26, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster took the time to explain to the citizens that if the number of coronavirus cases surges, the state will ban all activities, including high school and college sports. He also urged the public to follow guidelines of wearing masks and social distancing.
“I cannot lift those restrictions, if these numbers continue to rise and the danger persists,” McMaster said. “This fall will not be like other falls. We will not be able to have college football. We will not be able to have high school football.”
South Carolina public schools got permission to begin summer workouts on June 8. However, many schools have delayed or canceled sports activities as the number of positive coronavirus cases increased.
High school sports practices in Florida, Arizona, and Charlotte have all been postponed and will not begin until at least mid-August. All of the states’ high school athletic associations are uncertain as to when they can approve schools to start practicing again.
Littlestown Girls Soccer
The Littlestown Girls high school soccer team in Pennsylvania is practicing for the first time since March. As the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association required, the team implemented a school-board approved health and safety plan before practicing.
All practices have become optional, and athletes and their parents must sign a contract noting all the risks from the practice. Then, health screening is done by the coach or a trainer. All workouts are done outdoors, and the athletes are encouraged to sanitize any equipment used after every drill.
The athletes could also bring their own balls or equipment. Weight training is forbidden, and no more than ten athletes are allowed in a single room.
The team is doing anything to avoid physical contact while conditioning and working on the basic drills and necessary workouts needed to play the sport.