Sports Update for 2020-2021 Season
As many people have probably guessed by now, this year's 2020-2021 sports seasons have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, although they are still scheduled to happen. For student athletes, participating in school sports is definitely going to look a lot different. Although, luckily, we have some insight into what to expect.
These are the new sports seasons’ start and end dates:
Winter: November 30th - February 21st
Fall II: February 22nd - April 25th
Spring: April 26th - July 3rd
Sports being offered:
Boys Basketball / Girls Basketball
Boys Indoor Track / Girls Indoor Track
Boys Wrestling / Girls Wrestling
Boys Swimming / Girls Swimming
Boys Hockey / Girls Hockey
Winter Cheerleading (for basketball)
Fall II Sports:
Boys Soccer / Girls Soccer
Boys Cross Country / Girls Cross Country
Co-Ed Field Hockey
Boys Outdoor Track / Girls Outdoor Track
Boys Tennis / Girls Tennis
Boys Lacrosse / Girls Lacrosse
The main goal for the upcoming athletic seasons is to allow students to still be able to participate in their sports, while doing so in the safest way possible. To do this, there are many new protocols being enforced, such as mandatory masks (unless engaging in “high intensity aerobic activity” like running or sprinting), social distancing when possible, no spectators at workouts or practices, and no “celebratory contact” (high-fives, huddles, etc.). This may seem like a lot, but it is something that is necessary to keep everyone safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, there cannot be groups of more than 20 people while practicing, coaches included. Specific practice groups will be determined, and once they are, athletes will not be able to change groups for the rest of the season. This is to ensure that there will be minimal physical contact between team members, should anyone become infected during the season.
Information For Student Athletes
This year, there are some new additions and changes to both sports games and practices.
As for pre-participation requirements, student athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 have to be cleared by a physician before being able to take part in their sport(s).
Furthermore, the mandatory annual health examination is still being enforced. According to the MHS COVID Playbook, “The MIAA along with the Massachusetts Department of Health has issued a statement indicating that despite the difficulty for many to schedule annual exams, it does not change current regulatory language which indicates that an examination for student-athletes must be "conducted annually." As for application of this regulation, the current practice supported by the MA DPH of a valid examination within 13-months to the day still stands… It is important to note that “Telehealth” physicals will NOT be accepted. Physicals must be conducted in-person by a licensed healthcare professional.”
Before every practice or game, there will be a daily temperature check and a COVID-19 Questionnaire that all student athletes must complete. There will be questions asked regarding the health of athletes, and if an answer to any of the questions is “yes”, the athlete will not be permitted to practice temporarily and must be cleared by a physician to return to their sport. The same goes for if the athlete’s temperature is over 100℉.
This questionnaire can be completed online via the Sway Medical App, which can be downloaded on any device.
As of now, all practices will take place outside. You will also have to bring your own water bottle, and are not allowed to share any personal sports equipment. Lastly, for safety reasons, there will be no access to locker rooms until further notice, so plan accordingly.
Although this year’s sports seasons are going to look somewhat different as compared to previous years, the school is doing their best to ensure that students can still stay active while also being safe. Following these set protocols will help to make sure that everyone can have a successful sports season, and hopefully set us up for a more “normal” one in the future.
Any questions can be sent to the Director of Athletics, Mr.Conefrey. (email@example.com)