NCHSAA allows modified workouts beginning June 15

BY CHAPEL FOWLER, News + Record Staff
Posted 6/12/20

High school sports are back.

The NCHSAA announced Monday it will lift its current dead period on June 15, clearing the way for modified summer workouts to start next week. It also released a set …

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NCHSAA allows modified workouts beginning June 15

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Posted

High school sports are back.

The NCHSAA announced Monday it will lift its current dead period on June 15, clearing the way for modified summer workouts to start next week. It also released a set of Phase One general requirements (and specific requirements by sport) for schools to follow in doing so.

But local school districts, which include superintendents and local boards of education, will ultimately “control when they will allow activities to resume in athletic facilities and venues,” the organization said in a release.

In making that decision, the Chatham County Board of Education isn’t trying to rush. The board discussed the NCHSAA’s announcement for around 15 minutes in a Monday night Zoom meeting and took a measured approach. Members said they wanted more time to read through the requirements and also agreed to meet soon with athletic directors, coaches and principals from the three high schools in the system (Northwood, Jordan-Matthews and Chatham Central) to gauge their comfort with the June 15 start date and Phase One requirements.

Most notably, workouts and conditioning under Phase One can last no longer than 90 minutes; gatherings in outside venues are limited to 25 people; and gatherings in gymnasiums are limited to no more than 10 people. Those gathering numbers include players, coaches, managers, trainers and so on.

Workouts must also be “conducted in ‘pods’ of students with the same five to 10 students working out together weekly to limit overall exposures,” the guidance said, and there must always be a minimum distance of six feet between each individual.

The guidance also outlines specific requirements for “lower infection risk activities,” such as cross country, golf and baseball, and “higher infection risk activities” such as football, basketball and soccer.

For all sports, players aren’t allowed to make contact with others or share equipment. “Wearing protective equipment” in football and lacrosse is also prohibited.

The announcement’s timing lined up with Commissioner Que Tucker’s stated goal of giving schools “at least a week” to prepare for the NCHSAA’s ultimate decision. (The “dead” period was extended from June 1 to June 15 two weeks ago.)

In the current dead period, which began in mid-March, coaches weren’t allowed to organize official workouts, conditioning or similar activities for their teams.

Reporter Chapel Fowler can be reached at cfowler@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.

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