IHSAA plans for high school fall sports to return

Posted at 1:29 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 20:42:17-04

IDAHO — As school districts prepare to welcome students back for fall they are meeting with local health districts to discuss reopening plans. Part of that includes how fall sports will play out.

“They have looked at what sports are close contact; they have a different set of rules than let’s say track," said Central District Health state healthcare innovation plan program manager, Gina Pannell today in the CDH board meeting. "They are trying to individual define what athletic activities are what are appropriate for those.”

The IHSAA has a three-category system of green, yellow and red to determine what sporting events can proceed.

Each sport is given a ranking of high-risk, moderate-risk or low-risk.

“They’re looking at ways to mitigate COVID factors, and again it’s going to be sports specific on to what is most appropriate moving forward,” said Pannell.

High-risk sports include close and sustained contact sports with no protective equipment. Examples include wrestling, football and cheer.

Moderate-risk sports include sports that require close and sustained contact but use protective equipment that can reduce the likelihood of high spread. Examples include sports like basketball, swimming, volleyball and softball.

Low-risk sports are ones that can be done individually. Examples include golf, cross country and some track events.

If a school district is in the green category:

  • moderate-risk sports can begin
  • Gatherings of over 50 people
  • Fans can be allowed to attend with social distancing
  • No shared towels, water bottles or clothes
  • Equipment must be cleaned between each use

If a school district is in the yellow category:

  • Low-risk sports can begin
  • Moderate-risk sports can hold modified practices
  • Groups of up to 50 people are allowed
  • Only local games are encouraged
  • Athletes should work out in groups of 5-10
  • No sharing of equipment
  • Equipment must be cleaned after each use.

If a school district is in the red category:

  • No games or practices can be held unless they make extreme modifications
  • No gatherings larger than ten people
  • Sports venues and locker rooms closed
  • Student-athletes should work out in groups no larger than five
  • No shared equipment
  • Bodyweight exercises are encouraged

If the schools shut down completely there will be no athletics.

If games are canceled, they will not be rescheduled or made up.

Each local school and health districts will need to come up with their plan before sports start Aug. 10. The IHSAA is leaving it up to them to come up with their own individual plans.

To see the full guidelines and recommendations from the IHSAA click here.