This FAQ document is provided to clarify information for our students, parents and stakeholders and are subject to change. Our goal is to maintain safety, while positioning our students for fall competition.
Can coaches/sponsors continue summer practice? For contact sports (football/soccer, off season basketball & wrestling) teams, band, cheer, or other groups, coaches/sponsors may continue to work with student-athletes in static groups of 15 or less. These groups will be in separate facilities/locations on campus. (Two groups of same team may occupy the gym, one group of 15 in weight room, or diamonds at a time; three groups of same team on football or band practice fields). For liability purposes, all activities must be scheduled on campus unless otherwise approved by school administrators, and follow TSSAA guidelines. All groups must be supervised by approved coaches/sponsors.
What about non-contact sports? These groups may resume normal activities in accordance with the TSSAA sports calendar. Such groups must be in compliance with the 7/22/20 TSSAA COVID Sports Regulations. Coaches/sponsors must submit plans & schedules to building administrators for approval. Administrators will coordinate use of facilities. Facility use will not overlap.
What guidelines will be put in place? Coaches/sponsors will daily ask the revised TSSAA health assessment questions and take student’s temperatures daily. C/S are responsible for maintaining social distancing practices (6’) at all times, including breaks. There will be no close contact during practices. C/S are responsible for providing separate drinking cups/bottles, etc. for breaks. C/S are to reinforce all health/safety guidelines and expectations. No parents/spectators will be allowed during practices. C/S will coordinate cleaning with our cleaning service.
What guidelines must students follow? Student participants shall not share towels, water bottles, instruments, etc. Students must stay at home if they do not feel well. Students must observe all appropriate hygiene expectations. After events, students are to exit school campus and not congregate.
Will locker rooms be open? Locker room facilities will only be open for limited restroom use. Students should dress at home in clean uniform/gear. All personal items (shoes, cleats, gear) will be carried home daily. Parents should wash / clean these items daily.
Will our students participate in camps, scrimmages or other off-campus activities? For Contact Sports (football/soccer), no off-campus activities, including participation against other schools or other teams, will be conducted through the end of August according to the Governor’s Executive Order. For Non-Contact sports, they may participate only in official contests (no jamborees, scrimmages, or play dates) and must follow attached guidelines.
What will Fall Schedules look like? TSSAA has indicated football & girls’ soccer seasons will be delayed. Other fall, non-contact sports may follow the TSSAA Sports calendars.
What if I have further questions? Please contact your building principal. Principals are also available through email to assist you. You are also welcome to contact Central Office and ask for the Student Services Office [615-446-7571]. The TSSAA Document is attached to the end of this information.
COACHES / SPONSORS WILL ASK THESE QUESTIONS WEEKLY PRIOR TO ALLOWING PARTICIPATION:
1. Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past 7 days? Fever Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Shaking chills • Chest pain, pressure, or tightness with exercise • Fatigue or difficulty with exercise • Racing heart rate • Unusual dizziness • Loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea • Unusual rash or painful discoloration of fingers or toes
2. Do you have moderate to severe asthma, a heart condition, diabetes, chronic kidney or liver disease, or take medication or have a medical condition that weakens your immune system?
3. Have you or a family/household member been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 infection or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
4. *If student answers “yes”, the coach/sponsor consult with parent prior to participation.
5. Coaches must take student’s temperature. It must be lower than 100 degrees.
COACHES / SPONSORS WILL FOLLOW THESE COVID PROTOCOL:
1. COVID-19 EXPOSURE PROTOCOL: If a student/staff is known to have been in contact with someone who has or has had COVID-19 that individual will not attend activities for 14 calendar days without symptoms. If the student/instructor develops symptoms, then the individual will follow the guidelines for a student/instructor that has been infected. If someone in the participants’ household has been confirmed, the participant may not return for 14 days, with last 3 days symptom free, or a negative test.
2. COVID-19 INFECTION W/ SYMPTOMS
: [SYMPTOM-BASED STRATEGY] If a student/staff has been diagnosed with COVID-19, that individual with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions: At least 14
days have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, at least 14
days have passed since symptoms first appeared. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html
3. COVID-19 ASYMPTOMATIC INFECTION
: [TIME-BASED STRATEGY] If a student/staff has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but was asymptomatic, that individual with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions: At least 14 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test. If they develop symptoms, then the symptom-based or test-based strategy should be used. Note, because symptoms cannot be used to gauge where these individuals are in the course of their illness, it is possible that the duration of viral shedding could be longer or shorter than 10 days after their first positive test. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html
RESPONSIBILITIES OF STAFF, PARENTS AND STUDENTS
District and School Level Leadership:
• Create, Update, and distribute protocols.
• Have an effective communication plan in place; identify strategies for working with public health to notify adult leaders, youth, and their families if the organization learns a participant or adult leader has developed COVID-19 and may have been infectious to others while at an athletic or extracurricular related activity, while maintaining confidentiality.
• Have an action plan in place, in case of a positive test.
• Be sensitive and accommodating to parents that may be uncomfortable with returning to practices too quickly.
• Train and educate all staff on protocols and requirements, including state and local regulations, CDC recommendations, and other necessary information.
• Be prepared to shut down and stop operations.
• Develop plans for temporary closure of facilities to properly disinfect.
• Provide adequate space for social distancing. Provide hand sanitizing stations and waste receptacles.
• Maintain relationship and a dialog with local health officials.
• Ensure the health and safety of the athletes and student participants.
• Inquire how the students are feeling, send them home if you believe they act or look ill.
• Follow all state and local health protocols.
• Ensure all students have their individual equipment (ball, water, bag, etc.)
• Coach/Sponsor is the only person to handle necessary training/practice equipment
• Encourage all maintain social distancing per state or local health guidelines.
• Have fun, stay positive – players and parents are looking to you to stay calm, supportive, and caring during this time.
Parent / Guardian Responsibilities
• Ensure child is healthy, check your child’s temperature prior to any training session. If >100o, keep student at home.
• Limited or no carpooling.
• Stay in car or return at designated time to pick up child.
• Ensure child’s clothing is washed after every training session.
• Ensure all personal or borrowed equipment is sanitized before and after every training.
• Notify school immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason.
• Be sure to encourage your child to wash their hands before and after every workout/practice.
• Wash hands thoroughly before and after training or practice.
• Bring and use hand sanitizer, if available, at every training or practice.
• Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment or personal items.
• Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.
• Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training.
• No group celebrations, no high 5’s, hugs, handshakes, etc.
Event Organizers/Staff, Vendor, and Volunteer Protection:
• Require all of these staff should stay home if they are feeling ill.
• Require face coverings in not actively engaged.
• Follow TSSAA guidelines for all Locker Room use or close them at this time.
• Practice recommended social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
• Develop a plan for alternate seating locations or staging areas for athletes, and fans to increase social distancing.
• Avoid high fives, handshake lines, and other physical contact with teammates, opposing teams, coaches, umpires, and fans.
• Identify and clearly mark appropriate seating areas.
• Encourage only single-person beverage containers labeled for each athlete/coach/umpire. If hydration stations/coolers are used, disposable cups for athletes to pick up may be used. Do not allow congregating at a cooler or table.
• Do not allow unpackaged, shared team food.
• Spectator / fan attendance may be limited due to social distancing requirements. (DC Schools will provide additional guidance). Post signage at the entrance (see #5 of TSSAA guidelines) and encourage social distancing by identifying specific seating areas.
• Take temperature and require face masks for all spectators.
• Place social distancing signs or ground markings at ticketing areas, etc.
• Ensure hand washing stations with soap and water are readily accessible.
• Close restrooms or limit restroom availability at this time.
• Discourage congregating in common areas following events.
• Avoid sharing equipment between teams.
• Concession stands are limited to only prepackaged, sealed items.
Seating expectations. Mark specific areas on bleachers for designated seating areas. See image.
COVID-19 Sports Regulations
The following regulations will be in place for all sports until further notice. These regulations do not guarantee safety, but they are meant to encourage safe practices that will maximize our ability to engage in sports competition during the COVID-19 pandemic. While much about COVID-19 and its spread remains unknown, our collective hope for continuing sports competition depends on the willingness of every member school to apply and enforce these regulations.
1. Temperature checks are required for all coaches, players, and team personnel prior to every practice. Anyone whose temperature measures 100.4 or greater must be sent home immediately and may not return to participation until he/she provides documentation that they have tested negative for COVID-19 or obtained a medical evaluation by a physician verifying that COVID-19 is not the cause of his/her fever.
2. No coach, player, or team personnel may participate in practice or a contest without first completing appropriate COVID-19 screening. Persons should not participate while ill. If the answer is “YES” to any of the following questions, the coach, player, or team personnel may not participate until obtaining an evaluation by a medical provider verifying his/her fitness to safely do so: • Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past 7 days? • Fever • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Shaking chills • Chest pain, pressure, or tightness with exercise • Fatigue or difficulty with exercise • Racing heart rate • Unusual dizziness • Loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea • Unusual rash or painful discoloration of fingers or toes • Do you have moderate to severe asthma, a heart condition, diabetes, chronic kidney or liver disease, or take medication or have a medical condition that weakens your immune system? • Have you or a family/household member been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 infection or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days? Each coach, player, or team personnel member must be asked these questions before the first practice in which he/she participates, and again on at least a weekly basis. A printed list of the questions should be given to each coach, player, or team personnel member with instructions that the questions are continuing throughout the season. If at any time the answer to any question becomes “YES,” the individual should promptly inform 2 the head coach or team trainer and should obtain an evaluation by a medical provider before further participation.
3. No scrimmages, jamborees, 7-on-7 practice, or other types of practice with other teams is permitted. Team versus team competition may take place only at official contests. [Off-season practice in contact sports such as basketball, wrestling, etc., remains restricted to non-contact conditioning work consistent with the Governor’s order.]
4. At contests all coaches, players, team personnel, officials, administrators, and fans must have their temperatures checked before entering the facility. No one whose temperature measures 100.4 or greater may be admitted. Any coach, player, and team personnel refused admission under this regulation may not return to participation until providing documentation that he/she has tested negative for COVID-19 or obtained a medical evaluation by a physician verifying that COVID-19 is not the cause of his/her fever. For spectator screening areas, if a line forms or is anticipated to form, ensure 6 or more feet of separation between persons or household groups (e.g., ground markings and/or announcements).
5. At each contest the following symptom checklist shall be posted prominently at the spectator entrance(s) instructing that anyone who is experiencing any of these symptoms during the preceding 7 days must not be admitted: • Fever • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Shaking chills • Chest pain, pressure, or tightness with exercise • Fatigue or difficulty with exercise • Racing heart rate • Unusual dizziness • Loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea • Unusual rash or painful discoloration of fingers or toes
6. At contests in localities where fan attendance is permitted, member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that will allow adequate social distancing (e.g., 1/4 to 1/3 of typical seating capacity, depending on the characteristics of the particular venue) and should mark/designate bleachers or seats in order to promote social distancing among spectators. Member schools must facilitate compliance with any applicable state or local order limiting gathering sizes for participation in public events. In consultation with local health providers, member schools in areas experiencing high virus transmission should consider further limitations on attendance (e.g., family members only, or no spectators). Limit informal gathering in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
7. Member schools will require that all fans wear facial coverings at all times while onsite (except children under age 2) and maintain social distancing (six feet, or the equivalent of two empty seats between themselves and other fans) from anyone other than those living in the same household.
8. The temperature check and questionnaire requirements of Items 1 and 2 above, as well as the social distancing requirement of Item 7, shall also apply to members of a school band or pep band, cheerleaders, or other similar student groups attending a contest in a supporting role. Due to the potential increased risk of virus transmission during certain activities, the use of school bands at contests is discouraged. If the band is present, limit to a halftime performance or relocate the band from the stands to other available areas away from crowds and increase the amount of physical distance between band members. Increase the amount of physical distance between cheerleaders as well as between cheerleaders and other persons if projected voices are to be used.
9. If a public address system is in use for a contest, the host school will make public service announcements at various times during the contest to remind those in attendance to use masks and maintain physical distancing.
10. The host school is responsible for providing staff to engage in frequent cleaning and sanitizing of restroom facilities during contests.
11. Concession stands are discouraged because they tend to invite gatherings of people in close quarters. If a member school chooses to operate a concession stand at a contest, signage or other appropriate markings must be in place to encourage customers to maintain physical distancing while standing in line. Where possible, schools that choose to operate concession stands are encouraged to arrange for call-in orders in order to reduce the number of people gathering to stand in line and to limit the number of concession workers. All concession stand workers must wear facial coverings and must maintain as much physical distance as possible in the confines of the concession stand.
12. All coaches must complete the free NFHS online course “COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators,” before the first contest (preferably as soon as possible). Administrators with athletic responsibilities are also encouraged to complete the course. The link to access the course is here: https://nfhslearn.com/courses/covid-19-for-coaches-and-administrators. In addition to these regulations, TSSAA has developed the accompanying rules modifications and guidelines for returning to competition generally and for the specific fall sports. Those rules modifications and guidelines, like these regulations, do not guarantee the safety of participants and fans but are designed to encourage the member schools to engage in safe practices. The knowledge base related to COVID-19 is evolving. TSSAA may modify the regulations, rules modifications, and guidelines as more about COVID-19 is learned. All coaches and administrators are encouraged to check the TSSAA website regularly for any modifications to these regulations, rules modifications, or guidelines.
General Rule Considerations for all TSSAA Sports Returning to Competition During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- While it has always been customary to shake hands as a part of the pre-game conferences and activities, this should not take place during this pandemic.
- Pre-game conferences will take place with fewer officials, coaches and staff than in years past. Refer to the sport specific guidelines for details.
- Social Distancing is encouraged for bench personnel. Schools should carefully consider the role of all bench personnel and eliminate those who are non-essential.
- Players and coaches should provide their own water, sports drinks, etc.
Officials Table / Press Box:
- Should be limited to essential personnel to ensure social distancing. Schools should carefully consider the role of all personnel at the officials’ table and press box and eliminate those who are non-essential.
- Handshakes, hugs, etc. have always been an integral part of postgame procedures. During this pandemic, these should not take place.
- If available, dressing facilities for game officials and teams should be large enough for them to use social distancing protocols and should be properly cleaned and sanitized prior to their arrival.
- Officials are not responsible for monitoring activities on the sidelines, such as social distancing, hand washing, symptoms of illness, handshakes, or other such issues. The responsibility of monitoring remains with school personnel.
- Cloth face coverings are permissible. If worn, they should be solid in color, all alike, and not contain any images or logos.
- Electronic whistles are permissible, but not likely to be available
- Officials should provide their own water, sports drinks, etc.
2020-21 NFHS Soccer Rules Modifications
Pregame Conference (5-2-2d)
- Limit attendees to head referee or center referee, the head coach from each team, and a single captain from each team.
- All individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet.
- Suspend handshakes prior to and following the Pregame Conference.
Ball Holders (6-1)
- Encourage social distancing of 6 feet
Team Benches (1-5-1)
- Players and coaches are encouraged to practice social distancing in the team box.
Substitution Procedures (3-4)
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet between the substitute, officials and/or teammate(s) by encouraging substitutions to occur closer to the center line.
Officials Table (6-2; 6-3)
- Limit to essential personnel which includes home team scorer and timer with a recommended distance of 6 feet between individuals. Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and will need to find an alternative location.
Pre and Post Match Ceremony
- Suspend the pregame world cup introduction line and send players to their field positions with bench personnel lined up on the touch line (3-6 feet apart) for introductions.
2020-21 NFHS Volleyball Rules Modifications
Prematch Conference (1-2-4a; 1-6-2; 1-6-3; 2-1-10; 5-4-1h, k; 5-6-1; 7-1-1; 7-1-1 PENALTIES 1; 9-1a; 12-2-3)
- Limit attendees to one coach from each team, first referee and second referee.
- Move the location of the prematch conference to center court with one coach and one referee positioned on each side of the net. All four individuals maintain a social distance of 3 to 6 feet.
- Suspend the use of the coin toss to determine serve/receive. The visiting team will serve first in set 1 and alternate first serve for the remaining non-deciding sets.
- Suspend roster submission at the prematch conference. Rosters are submitted directly to the officials’ table before the 10-minute mark.
Team Benches (5-4-4b, 9-1-2, 9-1-2 NOTE, 9-3-3b)
- Suspend the protocol of teams switching benches between sets. In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage, teams may switch sides, observing all social distancing protocols. Officials will determine if a disadvantage is present.
- Limit bench personnel to observe social distancing of 3 to 6 feet.
Deciding Set Procedures [1-2-4b, 5-4-4c, 5-5-3b(26), 9-2-3c]
- Move the location of the deciding set coin toss to center court with team captains and the second referee maintaining the appropriate social distance of 3 to 6 feet. A coin toss, called by the home team, will decide serve/receive.
- Suspend the protocol of teams switching benches before a deciding set. In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage, teams may switch sides, observing all social distancing protocols. Officials will determine if a disadvantage is present.
Substitution Procedures (2-1-7, 10-2-1, 10-2-3, 10-2-4)
- Maintain social distancing of 3 to 6 feet between the second referee and the player and substitute by encouraging substitutions to occur within the substitution zone closer to the attack line.
Officials Table (3-4)
- Limit to essential personnel which includes home team scorer, libero tracker and timer with a recommended distance of 3 to 6 feet between individuals. Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and will need to find an alternative location.
Equipment and Accessories (4-1)
- Cloth face coverings are permissible. (4-1-4)
- Gloves are permissible. (4-1-1)
Legal Uniform (4-2)
- Long sleeves are permissible. (4-2-1)
- Long pants are permissible. [4-2-1i (1)]
- Under garments are permissible, but must be unadorned and of a single, solid color similar in color to the predominant color of the uniform top or bottom. [4-2-1h (3), 4-2-1i (2)]
Officials Uniform and Equipment (5-3)
- By state association adoption, long-sleeved, all-white collared polo shirt/sweater are permissible. (5-3-1 NOTES 2)
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained at all times. No hugging, shaking hands, or fist bumps for support/encouragement.
- Cross country meets should consider using staggered, wave or interval starts.
Possible Rule Modifications
- 8-1-3a: Consider widening the course to at least 6 feet at its narrowest point.
- Consider using finish corrals and FAT timing for larger meets as easier to distance at finish.
- With no FAT timing system consider alternative means of finish place and time to address congestion at finish line.
- Consider using image-based equipment at finish to assist with picking place to avoid congestion.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and exercise equipment.
Pregame and Postgame Ceremony
- Establish cross country specific social distancing meet protocols including the elimination of handshakes before and after the match.
NFHS Football Rule Modifications
BALL (Rule 1-3-2)
- The ball holders should maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times during the contest.
FACE MASKS [Rules 1-5-1a, 1-5-3c(4)]
- Cloth face coverings are permissible.
- Plastic shields covering the entire face (unless integrated into the face mask and attached to the helmet and clear without the presence of any tint) shall not be allowed during the contest.
GLOVES (Rule 1-5-2b)
- Gloves are permissible but still must comply with Rule 1-5-2b by meeting either the NOCSAE Standard or the SFIA Specification.
CHARGED TIME-OUTS AND AUTHORIZED CONFERENCES (Rules 2-6-2, 3-5-3, 3-5-8)
- A single charged time-out may be extended to a maximum of two minutes in length.
- The authorized conference for the charged time-out should take place between the 9- yard marks and not at the sideline for social-distancing purposes. (It would be permissible for no more than three coaches to be involved in this conference and for technology to be used.)
- Each game official and player should have their own beverage container brought out to them on the field.
INTERMISSION BETWEEN PERIODS AND AFTER SCORING (Rule 3-5-7l)
- The intermission may be extended to a maximum of two minutes between the first and second and the third and fourth periods and following a try, successful field goal or safety, and prior to the succeeding free kick.
FOOTBALL GAME OFFICIALS MANUAL CONSIDERATIONS GAME OFFICIALS UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT
- Electronic whistles are permissible (supplies are limited).
- Cloth face coverings are permissible.
- Gloves are permissible.
- Do not share uniforms, towels and other apparel and equipment.
PREGAME CONFERENCE, COIN TOSS AND OVERTIME PROCEDURES
- For the coin toss, limit attendees to the referee, umpire and one designated representative from each team.
- Coin toss should take place in the center of the field with designated individuals maintaining social distancing of 6 feet.
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet while performing all pregame responsibilities with all officiating crew members, game administration staff, line-to-gain crew, clock operators, individuals handling the balls during the game and team personnel.
- For the overtime procedure, please use the same procedure as used at the start of the contest for the coin toss.