|The MIAA Modifications and Guidelines are listed below with LHS Additional clarifying statements.|
|*Anything * is an additional LHS clarification*
General InformationEvery 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 fams 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%|
Basketball Specific Modifications
o Limited to one official and a single captain from each team.
o Participants stand on the center circle on each side of the division line. All individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet or greater at the center circle.
o No handshakes prior to and following the Pre-Game Meeting.
Starting Lineups/National Anthem
o Starting lineups are announced only – Players and coaches will refrain from high fives, handshake lines, and other physical contact with teammates, opposing players, coaches, officials, and fans.
Masks: Mandatory facial coverings per EEA document page 6
o The host school is required to setup designated areas for students from each team to take mask breaks when coming off the court.
o If a player is in violation of the mandatory mask rule, the referee has the authority to send the player off the court.
Process Between Quarters
o Halftime will be eliminated.
o The length of time between quarters will be extended to 2:30.
o The game ball will be changed at the end of each quarter.
o Teams are responsible to run their timeout meetings following socially distanced protocols.
o The length of timeouts will be increased to 1:15 to provide extra time for sanitizing and appropriate social distancing.
o Players should refrain from picking up another player by hand if a player has fallen to the court surface. (Unless deemed necessary to help player off court due to injury).
o Players will refrain from huddling on court as a team prior to, during or following free throws or other game situations.
o Players will refrain from any hand touching (high fives, handshakes) during substitutions.
o The postgame handshake is suspended. See MIAA Board of Directors recommendation.
Roster and Participation Limits
o Game day roster cannot exceed 15 players (active or injured) as long as teams can adequately social distance.
o No more than 3 coaches will be allowed on the bench at any time
o A maximum of 18 individuals (including players and coaches) are allowed on the bench
o The six-quarter rule (MIAA Handbook 66.7.2) will be suspended for this season.
o The use of swing players (i.e. Freshman/JV or JV/Varsity) is strongly discouraged and should only be utilized in situations to sustain a program.
o The home team is required to provide at least 4 game balls.
o Basketballs will be wiped with disinfectant at the end of each period. A disinfected or new game ball will be used to start each quarter and overtime.
o The visiting team is responsible for providing their own basketballs for warmups.
Game Modifications/Points of Emphasis
o The jump ball will be eliminated to start the game and replaced with a throw-in at the division line.
o A coin toss will be used (visiting team calls) to determine which team is awarded the ball to start the game. The alternating possession arrow will be set for the opposing team.
o Note – the team that begins the game on defense will retain the A-P arrow even if they secure possession on the initial throw-in.
o To start an overtime period, a coin toss will be used (visiting team calls) to determine which team is awarded the ball. The A-P arrow will be set to the opposing team in the same manner as to start the game.
o One player reports to the scorer’s table when a team intends to substitute. Multiple substitutions can be made. When the horn sounds, players must enter through the scorer’s table and utilize hand sanitizer.
o Players must use hand sanitizer when entering or exiting the court at any time (i.e. before game, during substitutions, between quarters, after game)
Closely Guarded/5 Seconds
o To minimize the amount of time that opponents are face to face, officials will emphasize NFHS Rule 9-10-1-a, “A player shall not, while closely guarded: A. In his/her frontcourt, hold the ball for five seconds or dribble the ball for five seconds. B. In his/her frontcourt, control the ball for five seconds in an area enclosed by screening teammate.”
Freedom of Movement
o Point of emphasis is to enforce the rule that defenders will not physically impede the progress of offensive players (off the ball; see reference NFHS Rules 4-24, 4-26, 4-37 and 10-7).
Free Throw Situations
o To limit congestion and contact, free throw lanes will be limited to four players.
o On two/three shot fouls, free throw lanes will remain empty and players can only enter lanes prior to the final attempt.
o For one-and-one and single free throw attempts, all four players may position themselves on the first attempt.
Sideline Out of Bounds Plays
o To eliminate congestion and contact under the basket during dead ball situations, offensive plays in the frontcourt will be inbounded at the foul line extended (not under the basket/end line).
End of Game Foul
o In order to avoid unnecessary contact while managing time at the end of the game, a team representative will notify the official if they are planning to foul a player receiving the inbounds pass; once the defensive team lightly tags the receiving offensive player the official will stop the play and administer a foul.
Quick whistle for a loose ball/tie up
o Point of emphasis – officials will quickly stop play/whistle during a loose ball/tie up between players in order to limit close contact.
o On all throw-in/inbound plays, the defender will maintain a distance of 6 feet from the player inbounding the ball.
- The home team/host school is responsible for providing socially distanced bench areas.
o Additional chairs or rows may be added when possible to allow bench personnel and players to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.
o Players and coaches are required to be assigned a specific seat on the bench for the duration of the contest where feasible. In instances where assigned seating is not possible, the person exiting the court is required to disinfect the seat.
o It is the responsibility of the host school to provide disinfectant and disinfecting wipes for each team.
o Consider seating fans opposite of team benches and separated from one another to promote social distancing.
o If spectator seating is available behind team benches, it must be separated by at least 20 feet.
o The host school is required to set up designated areas for students from each team to take mask breaks when coming off the court.
- All players must bring their own water bottles which must not be shared.
- Follow school protocols to clean/disinfect the bench area between games.
- All non-uniformed team members who are not essential to game management shall be seated in the bleachers or general seating and socially distanced from other groups.
- Must wear a mask at all times per EEA document page 6.
- Electronic whistles/artificial noisemakers are required.
- Throw-in: Official may stand 6 feet or greater away from player making the throw-in and bounce the ball to that player on a front court throw-in.
- Free Throw Administration: The lead official shall stand on the end line and bounce the ball to the free thrower.
- If a player is in violation of the mandatory mask rule, the official has the authority to send the player off the court.
- Address broken/damaged masks when the play advantage has subsided (similar to how injuries are handled).
- Must arrive at the facility dressed in uniform per EEA document page 12.
- Must bring their own water bottles.
- Personnel must be socially distanced and are required to wear masks. (Announcer, timer, shot clock, scorer, etc.)
- Home team/host school provides hand sanitizer for each team at the scorer’s table and disposable PPE.
- Limit seats at the table to essential personnel which includes home team scorer and timer with a recommended distance of 6 feet or greater between individuals. Other personnel (visiting scorer, statisticians, media, etc.) may not be deemed essential personnel and consider an alternate location for them.
Spectators: Reference spectator limitations per EEA Document page 7.
o The home team administrator will keep spectator attendance records.
o To limit the number of people on the sidelines during games, cheerleaders are not permitted.
o Locker rooms are closed per EEA Document page 10.
o Location determined by host school, must wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines for spectators. Advance notification to host school administration is required.
o Adequate time should be provided between games to allow for social distancing of teams and spectators during entry/exit in multi-team and multi-game settings.
o Cleaning of the court, benches, scorer’s table and playing surface areas takes place.
o Concessions are not allowed for basketball games.
- Practices are limited to small group trainings in accordance with current EEA guidelines.
- All cohorts must be more than 14 feet apart on the playing surface.
- Players cannot share any personal equipment – shoes, towels, water bottles, etc.
- Basketballs and other instructional equipment used for warm ups/practices must be cleaned before storing for the next game/practice.
- Host schools are encouraged to optimize air exchange and/or filtration where possible such as opening windows or doors.
- Floor markings for desks/classroom settings can remain on the court.
- To the extent possible, it is recommended that schools play only one opponent per week (home/away).
- Virtual or live stream broadcast options are encouraged (i.e. NFHSNetwork.com)
- Online ticket sales/paperless tickets should be utilized whenever possible to limit the handling of cash.
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
- Show results to Coach when arriving to practice
Any Questions/problems please contact Ashley Mourao @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
- 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.