Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order No. 55 last week, allowing the resumption of contact sports. “Athletics is an important part of our way of life and provides many benefits for our student-athletes, but common-sense precautions must be taken to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Lee. “We have worked directly with the TSSAA to coordinate a framework so that football season and soccer seasons can begin while keeping student-athletes, staff, and fans safe.”
The order comes as a relief to coaches and players of high school sports, who desperately want to be able to have their seasons this year. Football at Wayne County High School and Collinwood High School, along with girls’ volleyball at Collinwood High School and Collinwood Middle School, are scheduled to begin their seasons later this month.
TSSAA finalized a list of regulations concerning high school sports in a meeting last month. They stated that the regulations became effective immediately and will remain in place all season long. The regulations are listed below:
•Regulation 1: Temperature checks will be required for all players, coaches and team personnel prior to the start of practice, every single day. If the temperature is 100.4 or greater, they must be sent home. They cannot return until they provide documentation that says they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 or they have a physician that says COVID-19 is not the cause of their fever.
•Regulation 2: No coach, player, or team personnel may participate in a practice or contest until completing a COVID-19 screening. Must be asked weekly. (Note: The required COVID-19 screening is a list of questions, not an actual COVID-19 test.)
•Regulation 3: No scrimmages, jamborees, 7-on-7 practices, or any other types of practices with other teams are permitted. (Note: This regulation was lifted after the governor’s Executive Order was issued.)
•Regulation 4: At a contest, coaches, players, team personnel, officials, administrators or fans must have temperatures checked before entering the facilities. If it is 100.4 or greater they will not be permitted.
•Regulation 5: Symptom checklist must be posted prominently at all contests similar to the screening of players and coaches will partake in.
•Regulation 6: At a contest where fans are permitted, member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that would allow for adequate physical and social distancing.
•Regulation 7: Member schools will require that fans must wear masks/face masks while on site.
•Regulation 8: Temperature checks and screenings shall apply to member bands, cheerleaders, and student groups at the contests.
•Regulation 9: If a public address service is used during a contest, the school will use the service to remind those in attendance to wear masks and social distance.
•Regulation 10: Frequent cleaning/sanitization is encouraged.
•Regulation 11: Concessions are discouraged.
•Regulation 12: All coaches must complete the NFHS online COVID-19 course for coaches prior to start/resume of coaching.