Volleyball MIAA/LHS Modifications and Guidelines

The MIAA Modifications and Guidelines are listed below with LHS additional clarifying statements.

Anything written between *  * is an additional LHS Clarification.

General Information

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.

 

Pre-Workout/Pre-Contest Screening:

 

Athletes and coaches may not attend practices or games if they are isolated for illness or quarantined for exposure to infection.

Prior to attending practices or games, athletes and coaches should check their temperature *All student-athletes and Coaches will be required to complete an online form through AT Genius to certify that they are in good health. Student-athletes who do not feel well should stay home from practice.*

 

If a student-athlete or a coaching staff member has a temperature of 100 degrees or above, they should not attend practices or games. Likewise if they have any other symptoms of COVID-19 infection (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html), they should not attend practices or games. Student-athletes and coaches who have symptoms of COVID19 infection should follow DPH guidance regarding isolation and testing.

 

For students with symptoms who test negative for COVID-19 infection, they may return to sport once they are approved to return to school (when afebrile for 24 hours and symptomatically improved).

 

Student athletes and coaches who are diagnosed with COVID-19 infection may return to school once they have been afebrile for 24 hours and with improvement in respiratory symptoms, and once ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared, according to DPH guidelines. In addition, persons with COVID-19 infection need to receive written clearance from their health care provider in order to return to sport.

 

Student-athletes and coaches who were exposed to COVID should not participate in practices or games until their 14-day quarantine is completed.

 

Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions, but should practice social distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.

 

Cohorts and/or Participants:

A record *by the coach* should be kept of all individuals present at team activities i.e. – practices, practice cohorts, competitions, etc.

 

Social distancing:

  • Practice – Coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between players as much as possible. This includes additional spacing between athletes while stretching, warming up, chatting, changing drills, etc. Athletes must maintain spacing, and there should be no congregating of athletes while running drills. Workouts should be conducted in ‘pods’ of athletes, with the same 5-10 athletes always working out together. This ensures more limited exposure if someone develops an infection. Records should be kept *by the coach* of who is in each group, each day.
  • 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.

 

Outside: the bathrooms at the concession stand will be open – 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. Players’ items should be separated as below for personal items, at least 6 feet apart. Benches should be permitted only during games. *Coaches should flip benches on their side during practices*

 

  • Practice Field – 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 will not be allowing fans at our events. Athletics will continually assess the situation as the year progresses and loosen that restriction if we are able. 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. Ludlow Facemasks can be purchased online by going to Ludlowathletics.org*

 

  • During play when spacing between players is greater than 10 ft, athletes may momentarily take a 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.

 

  • Interaction with Officials – Coaches must follow social distancing guidelines (6 feet) 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 field prior to being introduced. Introductions are suggested to be limited or eliminated to decrease time of athletes on the competition field. 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 (EEE or Back to Back Games)*

 

  • 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.

 

Equipment:

  • General Equipment – There should be no shared athletic equipment. 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.

 

Hydration:

  • 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

 

COVID-19 Coach:

  • 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.

 

Transportation

Core health and safety practices 

 

Several core practices will support safe school bus operations this fall:

 

  • Masks

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.

  • Distance

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.

  • Ventilation

Keep windows open at all times during operation, unless not possible due to extreme weather conditions.

  • Seat assignments

Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat.

  • Bus monitors

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%

 

Volleyball Specific Modifications

 

Volleyball Pre-match:

  • All equipment is to be set up to meet NFHS rule regulations (net height, ball pressure) and must be sanitized prior to the visiting team’s arrival to the playing area.

 

  • Benches and warm up areas should be marked to indicate 6 feet of spacing between participants.

 

  • Scoring table may need to be extended to accommodate 3 people, 6 feet apart.

 

  • Game balls – minimum of 6 should be set apart from other balls

 

  • Home team will choose a side to play on.

 

  • Each team will provide their own balls for warm up.

 

  • Tape will be applied to the floor 3 feet from the centerline on each side of the net.

 

Volleyball Pre-match Conference:

  • Limit attendees to the head coach from each team, first referee and second referee.

 

  • The pre-match conference will take place at center court (with face coverings) with one coach and one referee positioned on each side of the net. All four individuals are to maintain a social distance of 6 feet.

 

  • Teams warming up are required to be beyond the attack lines and their extensions during pre-match conference to provide for social distancing.

 

Volleyball Pre-match Administration:

  • Suspend roster requirements

 

  • Suspend requirement for written scorer and or libero tracker, if untrained or school system has a “no paper” mandate.

 

  • Visual scoreboard is required.

 

Volleyball Team Benches:

  • Teams will remain on the same side of court throughout the match.

 

  • In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage (i.e. sun), home teams should consider scheduling start times to reduce the disadvantage.

 

  • Team members shall be seated or standing 6 feet apart. Consideration should be given for use of bleachers behind the bench. Teams will be allowed to “curl” beyond the end line if their position does not interfere with play.

 

Volleyball Warm Up protocol:

  • When a team does not have exclusive use of the court they will social distance and will not use balls.

 

Volleyball Start of Play Protocol:

  • Starting players will go to their starting positions and not the endline for the first and all sets of the match.

 

  • Once the lineup is confirmed by the R2. The R1 will double whistle and waive indicating players should waive a hand toward their opponent to acknowledge “good luck”.

 

Volleyball During play:

  • Substitutions will take place at the attack line

 

  • Players entering the match will stand at the extension of the attack line (approximately 6’). Players leaving the match will stand near the sideline. There is to be no contact during substitution exchange.

 

  • There are to be no team huddles or any physical contact (high fives, fist bumps)

 

  • Time outs require social distancing of 6 feet.

 

  • Balls are to be replaced with a clean ball after every rally. This task is to be completed by an adult

 

  • To reduce intermittent contact with opponents, front row plays will be restricted from traditionally attacking the ball while the ball is above or in front of the 3-foot line

 

Volleyball Deciding Set Procedures:

  • The deciding set coin toss will take place at center court. It shall be limited to one team captain and the second referee maintaining the appropriate social distance of 6 feet.

 

  • A coin toss, called by the home team, will decide serve/receive.

 

Volleyball End of Match Protocol:

  • After the last point of the match is scored, the R1 will signal the end of the match.

 

  • The R1 will then double whistle and waive indicating players should waive a hand toward their opponent to acknowledge “nice match”.

 

Volleyball Other considerations:

  • Line judges will not be used

 

  • Each participant is limited to one personal bag.

 

  • An area should be designated for officials to store their personal bag.

 

  • Officials shall use electronic whistles.

 


 

AT Genius Instructions

For Student / Athletes

 

Prior to every practice / game each athlete will need to log in their AT Genius account and take the COVID-19 screening. If you do not take the screening you will not be allowed to practice or play that day.

 

 

  1. Go to www.atgenius.com
  2. Click Student / Athlete portal
  3. Click NEW Student / Athletes
  4. School Code: LHSlions
  1. Should read:
    1. School → Ludlow High School
    2. Athletic Trainer → Ashley Mourao
  2. Click select (if you see above information)
  1. Make Profile
  2. Take COVID-19 Screening DAILY
  3. Show results pass to Coach when arriving to practice

 

Any Questions/problems please contact Ashley Mourao @ a_mourao@ludlowps.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 a_mourao@ludlowps.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.