The Ohio High School Athletic Association has released a number of guidelines as schools get ready to start fall sports on Aug. 1.
OHSAA says the guidelines were put together with the help of the Ohio Joint Advisory Committee on Sports Medicine, the National Federation of State High School Associations, and the Ohio Department of Health.
They are recommending temperature screenings for athletes before they participate in workouts or competitions. Athletes who test positive for COVID-19 should rest for 14 days or seven days after symptoms resolve, whichever comes later. Then they should gradually be allowed to return to full activity over a 10-to-14 day period.
The number of players a team brings to away games should be limited as much as possible, and players should change before they leave, as opposed to dressing in the visiting team’s locker room.
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Each player should have their own water bottle or beverage container.
Among the measures being considered specifically for football: Increasing the size of the team’s box on the sideline and decreasing the number of people allowed in that box to allow for social distancing; practicing social distancing during team timeouts; permitting players to wear cloth face coverings and strongly recommending masks for coaches, team staff, and administration; eliminating pre- and postgame handshakes; and repeatedly wiping down the ball during the competition.
Recommendations for the other fall sports can be found here.
OHSAA is also suggesting that schools have athletes sign a pledge to “take responsibility for my own health and help stop the spread of the COVID-19.”
They are leaving it up to individual schools whether to allow cheerleaders, mascots, and fans to attend games. However, they are recommending that everyone in attendance at a game stay six feet away from non-family members as much as possible.
As of now, the Ohio Department of Health mandates allow for all non-contact sports activity. Teams playing a contact sport can practice or scrimmage, but games are prohibited.
Stay tuned to 614now.com or follow @LoriSchmidt on Twitter for more updates on Ohio State football, Blue Jackets hockey, and Crew soccer.