State clears path for return of IHSAA sports

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Last week the state of Indiana partnered with the Indiana Department of Education and Indiana State Department of Health released a 38-page document to safely reopen schools for in-class learning for the 2019-20 school year.

Within the document, a three-part section was included with a plan to restart Indiana High School Athletic Association sponsored sports.

Phase I will start on July 6 and last until July 19. During the first phase, student athletes should be limited to 15 hours per week on campus. No sport may have more than two activity days per calendar week, and conditioning is limited to four days per week. Conditioning sessions may be held multiple times each day, with each session limited to two hours. Student athletes may attend only one conditioning session per day.

Only essential student athletes, student participants, coaches, medical staff, related supervisors, directors, and security should be in attendance, and all non-students should wear face coverings at all times unless under rigorous activity or poses a health risk.

Locker rooms should not be utilized, and students should report to their activity in proper gear and immediately return home to shower at the conclusion.

Gathering sizes should be decreased as much as possible to reduce risk, and workouts should be conducted in defined, smaller groups of students with the same students always together. Reduce gathering size by half capacity in larger areas is also suggested.

Free weight exercises requiring a spotter may not be conducted.

No contact is permitted for contact sports during the first phase, and no formal competition is allowed.

Phase II is set to begin July 20 and last until Aug. 15.

Locker rooms and meeting rooms may be allowed to be used at 50% capacity. 

Contact is also allowed in compliance with the IHSAA. 

Free weight exercises requiring a spotter may be conducted.

The IHSAA girls golf season may start on schedule with the first day of practice slated for July 31 and contests scheduled to start on Aug. 3. All other sports may start practice on Aug. 3.

In Phase III starting Aug. 15, the rest of the fall sports may start competition.

Locker rooms and meeting rooms may be used, and at a greater than 50% capacity if necessary. 

Schools should consider scheduling adjustments to reduce the number of events, duration and/or participants present.

Hospitality rooms for officials should not include shared food service and should allow space for social distancing. Individual waters and prepackaged snacks may be made available.

Spectators, media, and vendors can be present but should implement social distancing and follow established mass gathering guidelines.

Concessions may be sold if food handlers and cashiers use appropriate PPE and only prepared, prepackaged food is available.

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