ROBBINSVILLE, NJ — New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has moved one step closer to fall sports in 2020, with the release of its first round of regulations for schools planning to host summer conditioning workouts.
Below are the guidelines from the NJSIAA's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Taskforce for Phase 1.
- Student-athletes who presently have COVID-19, or who have tested positive for COVID-19, shall provide clearance from a physician before he/she will be permitted to participate in workouts.
- Student-athletes who have pre-existing medical conditions and/or are immunocompromised (e.g., diabetes, asthma, auto-immune disorders, etc.) shall provide clearance from a physician before he/she will be permitted to participate in workouts.
- The COVID-19 questionnaire must be completed seven days prior to the start of the first workout session. This form only needs to be completed one time. Any athlete that does not have a COVID-19 questionnaire on file will not be permitted to participate in any workouts.
- Districts shall develop COVID-19 protocols and procedures detailing, among other things, the name and contact information of the individual(s) who will be primarily responsible for responding to and addressing COVID-19 related issues; how it will conduct screenings (including administration of a screening questionnaire and temperate checks); how it will respond to a positive COVID-19 test or a student-athlete or coach who is symptomatic including, without limitation, contact tracing and a communication plan with parents, student athletes, coaches and appropriate health authorities.
- Districts shall examine their emergency action plans and determine what changes, if any, may be needed to respond to emergencies, including those related to COVID-19.
- Districts shall determine how they will handle and respond to the routine treatment and care of student-athletes who may be injured during workouts, including both on the field and in the training room.
These conditions are applicable to all sports during Phase 1:
- Each district must designate school personnel to conduct daily prescreening. This person cannot be involved in coaching student-athletes on the day they are tasked to conduct the prescreening.
- To the fullest extent possible, districts should consider staggered arrival and departure times of student athletes.
- Each day all coaches, student-athletes, and staff must clear the pre-screening process before they are permitted to participate in the workouts.
- The prescreening process will consist of a review of the prescreening questionnaire, which shall be completed and provided to designated school personnel, and a temperature check.
- Any individual who answers “yes” to any question on the questionnaire, or who has a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees, shall not be permitted to participate in the workout and shall be required to return home.
- Any Individual who answers “yes” to any question on the questionnaire shall be required to provide clearance from a physician before they will be permitted to resume participation in the workouts.
- Workouts shall be no more than ninety (90) minutes in duration and shall include a 10-minute warm-up, and a 10- minute cool down.
- Only one workout per day is permitted and there must be one day of rest per every seven days.
- All workouts shall take place outside during Phase 1.
- Access to workouts must be limited to student-athletes, coaches, and appropriate school personnel.
- There shall not be any physical contact, of any kind, between student-athletes and coaches during Phase 1.
- Throughout Phase 1, workouts shall be limited to conditioning, skill sets and sport-specific noncontact drills.
- Coaches should have pre-drawn structured workouts for the duration of the session.
- Workouts shall always comply with the NJSIAA Heat Participation Policy.
- Student-athletes should be provided with unlimited access to fluids. During all workouts, coaches and staff are reminded to be alert for any students exhibiting signs of distress regarding mental health secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Face Coverings
- Student-athletes who are engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity, e.g., running, sprinting, etc., do not need to wear face coverings during the period of the aerobic activity. Once the aerobic activity is over, student-athletes shall wear face coverings.
- Student-athletes who are not engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity, such as sitting on the bench, reviewing plays, watching videos, waiting in line, etc., are encouraged to wear face coverings.
- Coaches and district personnel must wear face coverings at all times.
- Groupings/Social Distancing
- No more than 10 student-athletes may be grouped together in a single area and the groups should be predetermined by the coach prior to the start of the workout.
- Social distancing of at least six feet shall be maintained between student-athletes and staff at all times, including within the 10 student-athlete groupings.
- Once student groupings are determined, student-athletes may not switch to another grouping, even for another sport.
- More than one group of student-athletes can be in a single area, provided there is 12 to 18 foot between each group of student-athletes.
- Groupings must stay together throughout the entirety of Phase 1.
- There shall not be celebratory contact, e.g., fist bumps, high-fives, huddles, etc.
- Student-athletes who participate in more than one sport are encouraged to be grouped with their fall sports teammates.
- Sports Equipment
- Sports equipment shall not be shared at any time during Phase 1.
- Each student-athlete shall bring individual water bottles to each workout for his/her own personal consumption. There shall not be any trading or sharing of water bottles.
- All sports equipment and touchpoints (e.g., benches, agility cones, ladders, clipboards, etc.) must be cleaned and disinfected after each workout with Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaners and disinfectants against COVID-19.
- Locker Rooms/Restrooms
- Student-athletes shall not have access to locker rooms at any time unless needed for restroom access.
- Restrooms shall be cleaned and disinfected regularly with EPA approved cleaners and disinfectants against COVID-19.
- Restrooms use shall be limited to one person at a time.
- To the fullest extent possible, appropriate social distancing shall be maintained, and face coverings are worn when more than one student-athlete is in the restroom.
- Students and staff should make every effort to wash their hands as often as possible including before and after the workout.
- Hand sanitizer shall be accessible at all times.
- Student-athletes shall wear their workout gear to the workout and shall return home in the same workout gear.
- There shall be no spitting, chewing seeds or gum during the workout.
Please be advised that school-sponsored intersquad competition is prohibited under Phase 1.
The NJSIIA task force is chaired by former NJSIAA Executive Committee president Mary Liz Ivins, joined by Jack Kripsak, M.D., chair of the NJSIAA Medical Advisory Committee; Damion Martins, M.D., the New York Jets team physician and a member of the NFL COVID Taskforce; Rob Franks, M.D., a team physician for USA Wrestling and team consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies; Kathy Whalen of N.J. Department of Education; and Tony Maselli, NJSIAA assistant director.
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