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TSSAA Provides COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines

Courtesy TSSAA
Posted 7/14/20

To promote fair competition and the health and safety of everyone involved, it is vital that school administrators and coaches are familiar with the information below and are purposeful in their …

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TSSAA Provides COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines

Posted

To promote fair competition and the health and safety of everyone involved, it is vital that school administrators and coaches are familiar with the information below and are purposeful in their application of the guidelines and requirements noted. Continued function of our schools’ academic and athletic programs will take the combined, mindful efforts of everyone involved.

Student-Athlete Participation Requirements

A pre-participation physical must be filed with the school office prior to a student-athlete participating in an official day of practice. Physicals performed on or after April 15, 2020 meet the requirement for the 2020-21 school year.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine suggests that student-athletes complete a COVID-19 questionnaire, not only before returning to sports participation at the beginning of the season but after any positive COVID-19 test. Any positive response should trigger an evaluation by a medical provider. The four questions and supporting information for student-athletes that have tested positive can be found at the website for the journal Sports Health.

Preseason and Practice

Demonstrating care and concern for reducing the spread of COVID-19 outside of competition will lower the likelihood that inter-school competition will be impacted by virus-related cancellations.

All coaches and administrators should view the free online course on NFHSLearn.com entitled, “COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators.” The course discusses what coaches and administrators can do to limit the spread of COVID-19, including practicing hygiene and cleaning, social distancing when possible, and the importance of recording who is at each workout, practice and game to track exposure.

Practice Regulations for TSSAA Fall Sports During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The following practice regulations are designed to help schools ensure the health and safety of the players and coaches involved in fall sports. These regulations supplement the existing TSSAA practice regulations and sports calendars in response to the Governor’s extension of Executive Order No. 38 and continued concern over the spread of COVID-19.

NON-CONTACT SPORTS

Golf, Cross Country, Volleyball

● Teams and players must follow local mandates and the rules of the facility regarding social

distancing and cleaning protocols.

● Schools are expected to substantially maintain social distancing between players, coaches and

spectators.

● If a local mandate is absent, schools are encouraged to adopt the Tennessee Guidelines for

Non-Contact Sports.

CONTACT SPORTS

Players cannot participate in contested activities with other participants under the Governor’s Executive

Order (No. 50/38).

Girls’ Soccer

● Practice cannot include activities that result in sustained close proximity or physical contact

between participants. Training or otherwise engaging in elements or aspects of the sport in a

manner that do not involve close contact with other persons is allowed.

● Drills and simulations in which players are not engaged with an opponent are allowed. For

these purposes, an opponent is anyone (teammate or coach) who is engaged with the player

with sustained close proximity or physical contact.

● Scrimmages, and/or practicing with another team are not allowed under the Governor’s

Executive Order (No. 50/38).

Football

● Practice cannot include activities that result in sustained close proximity or physical contact

between participants. Training or otherwise engaging in elements or aspects of the sport in a

manner that do not involve close contact with other persons is allowed.

● A football player cannot practice in full pads until the 5 days of heat acclimatization has been

completed. This heat acclimatization process can still begin on July 20.

● Drills and simulations in which players are not engaged with an opponent are allowed. For

these purposes, an opponent is anyone (teammate or coach) who is engaged with the player

with sustained close proximity or physical contact, including contact with a blocking pad or other

similar equipment being held by a coach or teammate.

● 7-on-7, scrimmages, and/or practicing with another team are not allowed under the Governor’s

Executive Order (No. 50/38).

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is a key element in returning to participation. NFHS has recently released another free course entitled “The Collapsed Athlete.” The course will teach staff members the importance of developing Emergency Action Plans and practicing them, including assigning responsibilities to team members.

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