|The MIAA Modifications and Guidelines are listed below with LHS Additional clarifying statements.|
|*Anything * is an additional LHS clarification*
Every school district/program should consult with their local health department to determine which risk level to start this program safely. Continued consultation with the local health department should be used to determine when progression to the next risk level can be initiated.
This document is to be utilized in compliance with all EEA, DESE and DPH guideline in place.
A record *by the coach* should be kept of all individuals present at team activities i.e. – practices, practice cohorts, competitions, etc.
- Locker Rooms *The LHS locker rooms will be closed and should not be entered by the LHS student-athletes*
Inside the building: the bathrooms open will be located in the hall of fame lobby – ONLY to be used as bathrooms, not a changing facility.
When possible, students should report to workouts in proper gear and immediately return home to shower, clean clothing, and equipment at the end of every workout.
- Benches – No benches should be used during practice or games. Players’ items should be separated as below for personal items, at least 6 feet apart.
- Playing Surface Access – Only essential personnel are permitted on the practice/competition field. These are defined as athletes, coaches, medical personnel/athletic trainers, and officials (competition). All others (i.e. managers, photographers, media, etc.) are considered non-essential personnel and are not to be on the field of play.
- Personal Items – It is recommended that each athlete bring their own gym bag for personal items (see gym bag information below). All personal items should remain in the gym bag when not in use. Gym bags should be placed in a predetermined area 6 feet apart for the duration of practice.
- Huddles – Social distancing (6 feet between individuals) must be maintained, as much as possible, and face coverings utilized when the coach is communicating with the entire team, or in smaller groups. Communicating with smaller groups is preferred.
- Team Handshakes – Athletes shall NOT exchange handshakes before, during or following practices and competitions. Some MIAA sport specific modifications suggest sportsmanship recognition practices which replace handshakes.
- Spectators – Spectators must practice social distancing between different household units and accept personal responsibility for public health guidelines. The number of spectators is determined in compliance with EEA, DESE and DPH guidelines. * Currently, Ludlow Athletics allows home fans only limiting two guests per player for outdoor games and one guest per player for indoor games. Athletics will continually assess the situation as the year progresses. Ludlow High School has partnered with the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS) to live stream our games through their network. All contests played in the LHS gym and stadium will be streamed. Families can purchase a monthly subscription of $10 or an annual subscription for $69.99 to watch the contests.*
- *Transportation – See below
- Media – All social distancing and hygiene guidelines for spectators must be followed by media members planning to attend games. Media members should contact host school administrators prior to arriving at games to plan appropriate entry and available workspace
Practice and Game Protocols:
- Masks/Face Coverings – Athletes are required to wear cloth face coverings/masks per EEA guidelines. Face coverings consisting of multiple layers and a tighter weave are more effective and preferred. *Masks will be required for all athletes. ATTENTION!! Ludlow Public Schools policy does not allow gaiters to be worn by home or visiting athletes. If an athlete/staff chooses to purchase a gaiter and wear it during competition or practice a face mask MUST be worn underneath.
- During play when spacing between players is greater than 10 ft athletes may momentarily take brief face covering relief. The default expectation is that the mask will be on. Athletes should reference sport specific guidelines for mask break. Athletes that use mouthpieces should prepare to have extra face coverings available. Caution should be exercised when replacing a mask if hands are soiled or dirty. For individuals that are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability. (Coach must possess the medical note/documentation excusing the player from wearing a mask) *LHS will also require that doctor’s note to be on file with the HS nurse and athletic trainer*
- It is the responsibility of the head coach to monitor and ensure that all players not on the playing field are wearing face coverings. A game administrator, home athletic director, or other designee may also assist in monitoring this.
- Coaches and officials are also required to wear face coverings. Coaches and officials may remove their face covering briefly for a “break” at any point during play when they are socially distanced greater than 6 feet. Spectators, workers, and others are required to wear face coverings and they are expected to follow social distancing guidelines.
- Player habits – Coaches should work to break old habits and create new ones to minimize the spread of the virus. Spitting, nose clearing on the field, licking fingers, and spitting on gloves during practices and competitions is not permitted. The habit of minimizing any touching of the face and covering the cough should be practiced.
Given that indoor conditions and ventilation/airflow impact the playing of indoor sports, it is recommended that indoor participants and all in attendance work to refrain from active yelling due to the increased opportunity for increased droplet transmission. Coaches and game administrators are encouraged to monitor this and remind participants to eliminate any unnecessary shouting.
- Interaction with Officials – Coaches must follow social distancing guidelines (6 feet between individuals) when interacting with an official or any other individual. Conversations can occur at a distance. Athletes should not approach a referee closer than 6 feet at any time.
- Hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes – Athletes, coaches, and officials are encouraged to provide their own hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and/or sanitizing wipes and use them frequently – including prior to taking the field and upon return to the sideline. Additionally, it is emphasized to avoid touching the face throughout practice and competition. *LHS athletes should bring their own individual hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes each day to practice. Each LHS athlete will be provided with a small bottle of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the season. Additionally the LHS coach will be provided with a “sanitizing bag” the bag will contain hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and gloves.*
- Pre-Game Introductions and Preparation – If pre-game meetings are necessary, they should be held with limited team representation – a single coach, single captain, etc. At the pregame meeting all participants will be required to wear face coverings and to socially distance from all participants
If a school chooses to do introductions, players will take their position on the court prior to being introduced. Introductions are suggested to be limited or eliminated to decrease time of athletes on the competition surface. The National Anthem may be played before competition. *At LHS PA introductions will only be eliminated if there is a time constraint with the game (Back to Back Games)*
Indoor musical performances at interscholastic athletic events are not permitted.
- Ball Retrievers – Ball retrievers for any sport ARE NOT permitted. See sport specific modifications for extra ball placement procedures.
- Post-Game Procedures – Refer to Team Handshakes in this guidance. Recognition of the other team, coaches and/or officials should be done from a distance greater than 6 feet and should not delay departure from the competition venue. Teams and group of players should maintain social distancing and/or staggering departure times at the conclusion of the contest.
- General Equipment – There should be no shared athletic equipment unless required by the sport rules – ie., one basketball is used during competition and must be used by all players. Any equipment that is used for practice should be cleaned and disinfected prior to and immediately following practice. Only one individual should handle the set-up and break-down of equipment on any given day (i.e. goals, cones, etc.).
- Balls – Each player should bring their own ball or use the same school-issued ball during practice. Skill training, conditioning, agility, etc. can be done with the one player/one ball concept. Balls must be sanitized before and after each practice/game. Sport specific modifications also list other ball cleaning practices during competition. *LHS coaches will be provided with sanitizing wipes/spray to disinfect equipment*
- Personal Items – Shoes, clothing, towels, and other personal items must not be shared among athletes. Any items that are not currently being worn/used should be stored inside a personal gym bag. Gym bags should be placed in a predetermined area 6 feet apart for the duration of practice/competition.
- All students must bring their own water bottle. Water bottles cannot be shared.
- Hydration stations (water cows, water trough, water fountains, etc.) should NOT be utilized.
- *At LHS a water refill station will be located near the athletic trainer’s area and should only be used for refilling water bottles. Athletes should bring an abundance of personal water and the refill station should only be used in rare occurrences*.
- Water fountains are to be used as refill stations ONLY
- It is recommended that schools could designate a coach to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns.
- All coaches, staff, officials, and families should know who this person is and how to contact them.
- Train coaches, officials, and staff on all safety protocols. Conduct training virtually and ensure that social distancing is maintained during training. (NFHS COVID-19 FREE Course)
Gym Bag: (Supplies recommended for a personal gym bag)
- Reusable facial covering(s)/mask(s) – The mask/face covering must be worn at all times. Sport specific modification may have further guidance for face coverings.
- Warm-up clothing, electronic devices, and other personal items that are used by the athlete, prior to practice/competition, must be placed back in the gym bag before practice/competition begins.
- Athletes are recommended to always have a personal bottle of hand sanitizer available. There will be less chance of possible cross contamination and less time standing around waiting to use a shared hand sanitizer. Be sure to have this inside a sealable bag, in case it leaks. This will be used when you enter and exit the practice/competition site, and at other necessary times in between.
- Athletes are recommended to have disinfectant wipes for personal use. When using a restroom area, it is best to disinfect any surface that may be touched, before and after using the facilities.
- Athletic braces, tape, inhalers, or any other sports-medical item used before, during or after practice/meets should be stored in a personal gym bag when not in use.
- Additional shoes should also be stored in a separate compartment or bag inside a gym bag to prevent possible cross contamination with other items in the gym bag.
- Any other item that is deemed necessary for practice or competition must be stored in the gym bag when it is not being used
- Everything inside the gym bag must be disinfected after every practice and before the athlete returns to practice again. Be sure to spray the inside and the outside of the bag as well. This is for everyone’s protection.
Core health and safety practices
Several core practices will support safe school bus operations this fall:
All staff and students on the bus, regardless of age, are required to wear masks at all times. Exemptions for students due to medical and/or behavioral reasons – and associated protocols – are further described later in this guidance.
Students should be seated no more than one student per bench, alternating sides for each row, which allows students to maintain approximately 3 feet of physical distance. Children from the same household may sit together and in closer proximity (e.g., two students per bench). Diagrams are provided later in this guidance.
Keep windows open at all times during operation, unless not possible due to extreme weather conditions.
Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat.
Districts should consider adding a bus monitor (e.g., volunteer, student leader, or staff member) for every bus to ensure strict adherence to these health and safety guidelines.
Bus seating configuration
In alignment with the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance, the following bus configuration (i.e., one student per bench, alternating sides for each row) represents the maximum* school bus occupancy achievable while maintaining approximately 3 feet of physical distance.
*Note: Children from the same household may sit together and are excluded from the one student per bench requirement.
Bus Model: 71-passenger bus
Max. capacity with physical distancing requirements: 23 passengers (32% full capacity)
Seat map configuration:
|Bus model||Maximum occupancy (excluding students who could sit together from same household)||Percentage of full bus capacity|
|83-passenger bus||27 passengers||33%|
|77-passenger bus||25 passengers||32%|
|71-passenger bus||23 passengers||32%|
|47-passenger bus||15 passengers||32%|
|29-passenger bus||9 passengers||31%|
|26-passenger bus||8 passengers||31%|
|22-passenger bus||7 passengers||32%|
|14-passenger bus||6 passengers||43%|
Swimming & Diving Specific Modifications
All current EEA, MIAA and DESE guidance pertaining to the sport of swimming and diving will be adhered to throughout the Winter 2020-21 season. Any state Mandated Safety Standards for Public and Semi-Public Pools will be incorporated into individual swimming and diving team practices and dual meet planning. Local Boards of Health and individual facilities may impose additional standards as well as restrictions and will be the final authority for onsite usage rules for team practices/meets.
Guidelines & Best Practices for High School Dual Meets
- Only dual meet in person competition will be permitted.
- The host team will be required to contact the visiting school at least 48 hours in advance of the meet to review any facility restrictions in terms of spectators, number of athletes who can compete, warm up protocols, availability of locker rooms as well as the amount of time available to conduct the meet.
- Masks will be worn by all coaches, officials, timers, table workers, athletes when not competing/warming up.
- Swimmers can un-mask as they step onto the starting block. Masks will be placed in a plastic zip lock bag and will be available at the point of exit after they race.
- Hand sanitizer must be provided at the scorer’s table.
- Various procedures, rules and disqualification notices require interaction between officials, coaches, and athletes. Alternative methods of communication can include utilization of electronic whistles, PA system, hand signals and/or written communication.
- Virtual meets will be allowed. Teams must compete either on the same day or within 1 day of each other.
Team Seating and Lane Selection
o Teams will sit on opposite sides of the pool whenever possible and remain in this area throughout the meet.
o The visiting team will have a choice of either lanes 1 – 3 or 4 – 6 for competition. (Note this is a change from the traditional even/odd lane selection for competition.)
Spacing for Officials
o 6 foot spacing is recommended to allow officials to work both sides of the pool during a meet.
o Depending on the time available and number of swimmers allowed per lane, teams may have to adjust within the normal warm–up period to accommodate as many athletes as possible (i.e. 2 – 15 min., 3 – 10 min. 4 – 7min. blocks etc.)
o At the conclusion of each race all swimmers (including anchor leg of relays) must swim to the other end of the pool and exit from this location. This will supplement warm-ups and eliminate any additional congestion in the starting area while times are being collected and preparations for the next race are underway.
o Swimmers participating on the first three legs of relays will depart the starting area immediately after finishing.
Submission of Entries NFHS 5 – 2
o To minimize multiple handling of paper entries and/or if electronic entries are not feasible, alternative submission methods must be designed to reduce face to face interactions.
o One method will be to submit all entries on a single sheet of paper to the scorer’s table at the start of the meet with the understanding that a change can be made at any time prior to the long whistle signaling the start of an event.
o Where/how to/when entries are submitted should be a discussion item during the coaches’ phone conference and reviewed again in the pre contest meeting with head coaches and an official.
o To streamline the meet, diving will be the first event per NFHS 5-2a with a 10 minute in water break provided where the event would normally be held.
o The number of exhibition divers expecting to compete should be discussed in the pre meet coaches phone conversation and reviewed again in the pre contest meeting with head coaches and an official.
o Athletes and team personnel must wear masks and remain on their respective side of the pool while all races are in progress.
o No cheering will be allowed on the pool deck.
o Per NFHS 2–7 art.6 and 3–4 only one person per team is allowed behind the lane to serve as a counter for the 500 yd Freestyle event.
o Hand sanitizer will be provided, and each lap counter is required to clean their hands as well as wipe down their counting devices at the conclusion of the race.
o All post-race and post-meet handshakes/slaps/fist bumps have been eliminated.
Officials and Meet Admin Personnel
o Officials will hold the required pre-meet conference with just one member of each coaching staff, and a separate pre-meet captains’ meeting with just one representative from each team.
End of Race Times
o At the conclusion of each race, timers will remain behind their respective lane, and one of the two meet officials will record the individual time, maintaining social distancing of 6 feet. The other official will check in with the scoring table after each event.
o All relay “take off” judging will be performed from the sides of the pool.
o Relay swimmers will be spaced 3–6’ apart from each other behind their respective lanes if possible. If this type of spacing is not possible, the other relay participants will remain on their respective sidelines until it is appropriate for them to move in and swim their respective relay “leg”.
o Swimmers competing on the first three relay legs will leave the starting area immediately after finishing.
o Only one relay grouping will be allowed in the area behind the blocks while relay events are being conducted.
o The diving event might also require alternative methods of submitting entries and movement of non-electronic information might be required.
o Recommendations would include 6 feet between individuals seated at the scorer’s table/desk.
o Creating a 6-foot space between judges and having at least one judge sit on the opposite side of the pool.
Post-Meet Responsibilities and Additional Information
- All “high touch” surface areas must be cleaned at the conclusion of each meet to include but not limited to team benches, scorer’s table, pool ladders, diving board/handrails and starting blocks.
- Activity organizers must ensure that individuals are not congregating in common areas or parking lots following practices or events.
- If a team is unable to participate in the Winter 2020-21 season, they can send a request to their District Athletic Committee (DAC) to move to another season.
AT Genius Instructions
For Student / Athletes
- Go to www.atgenius.com
- Click Student / Athlete portal
- Click NEW Student / Athletes (if you signed up during the fall sports season – you DO NOT need to make a new account – use the same one from the Fall!)
- School Code: LHSlions
- Should read:
- School → Ludlow High School
- Athletic Trainer → Ashley Mourao
- Click select (if you see above information)
- Should read:
- Make Profile
- Take COVID-19 Screening DAILY prior to practices and contests
- Show results to Coach when arriving to practice
Any Questions/problems please contact Ashley Mourao @ email@example.com
Ludlow High School Athletic Training Room COVID-19 Protocol
- Masks are to be worn the entire time you are in the building (Following Ludlow Public Schools Mask Guidelines)
- Maximum occupancy of 4 people, including athletic trainer (athletic training student) in the athletic training room at one time.
- Social distancing of 6 feet or greater with be maintained when possible
- Every athlete needs to complete the COVID-19 screening prior to practice via AT Genius
- Using sign in code LHSlions
- Athletes must sign up for an appointment time
- Either e-mail Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org
- OR use QR code for google spreadsheet and pick a time
- Times will be based on practice/game schedule usually from 2:05pm to 3:45pm (times may vary)
- There will be NO open treatment hours (unless it is an emergency)
- Upon arrival to the Athletic Training Room, all athletes must sign in for treatment via their AT Genius account
- Using sign in code LHSlions
- Every person must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the Athletic Training room
- Hand sanitizer is available in ATR
- Gloves are available upon request.
- There will be one athlete per treatment table
- Tables will be disinfected upon arrival and once finished with treatment
- All rehab equipment will be disinfected upon arrival and once finished
- The Athletic Training room will not be used as a meeting room or “hangout” while waiting for games or practices to start.
- No personal items will be allowed in the Athletic Training Room, items must be left out in the hallway.
Athlete Safety Checklist for Sport Participation during COVID-19
BEFORE THE SPORTS SEASON STARTS – ATHLETES SHOULD:
□ Understand the new safety rules and expectations (see LHS Modification and Guidelines document)
□ Make sure sports physical is current before participating (Check with athletics or nurses office)
□ Take Concussion Baseline Test
□ Have own cloth face covering (no gaiters), hand sanitizer, water bottle labeled with name.
PRIOR TO PRACTICE OR GAMES – ATHLETES SHOULD:
□ Take COVID-19 screening via AT Genius.
□ Stay home from practice or game if sick or have a fever.
□ Come to practice/games dressed and ready to go
□ Bring labeled (with name) personal sports equipment, water bottle, towel, tissues, hand sanitizer, and cloth face covering.
□ Avoid gathering in large groups before practice, maintain physical distance and wear a cloth face covering.
□ Wait in designated school location until coach is ready to start practice.
DURING SPORTS PRACTICE OR GAMES – ATHLETES SHOULD:
□ Whenever possible, maintain 6-8 feet physical distance during drills and conditioning.
□ Whenever safe and possible, athlete should wear a cloth face covering. Especially on sideline, in dugouts, and during team chats.
□ Avoid these behaviors:
- Huddles, high fives, fist bumps, handshakes, etc
- Sharing food or drink with teammates
- Cheering, chanting, or singing when closer than 6-8 feet from others
- Spitting or blowing nose without tissue
□ Store personal equipment 6-8 feet away from other teammates’ equipment
□ Minimize sharing sports equipment when possible
□ Sanitize hands before and after using shared equipment (balls, bats, sticks, etc)
□ Tell a coach if you are not feeling well and leave practice or game with parent or caregiver
AFTER SPORTS PRACTICE OR GAME – ATHLETES SHOULD
□ Sanitize or wash hands.
□ Wash cloth face covering, towel, and practice clothes or uniform
□ Clean personal sports equipment and water bottle.