Alabama High School Athletic Association member schools may resume athletic training on June 1 in accordance with Alabama State Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Eric Massey’s directive announced Thursday.
The organization had originally set June 8 but moved the date up a week after Gov. Kay Ivey’s press conference on Thursday which allowed more facilities to open.
“The AHSAA, its Central Board of Control, along with the Alabama State Department of Education, has updated its guidelines regarding summer activities,” AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese said. “The biggest change is our schools may reopen on June 1, a week earlier than the June 8 date previously discussed. We are elated to have a definite date for our coaches and student-athletes to return to their schools where they can continue to experience valuable educational lessons through athletics.”
All student-athletes must have a current pre-participation physical, the AHSAA-mandated consent release and the AHSAA-mandated concussion form for 2020-21 on file prior to participating in summer activities.
AHSAA officials released a set of guidelines for schools to follow.
First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the local school (system) to follow all guidelines provided by the state Department of Public Health and local county and city health departments. Before beginning any athletic activities, check your local government policy as their policies may be more restrictive.
Secondly, school administrators should provide coaches, student-athletes and parents the supportive guidelines and educate all parties involved regarding the seriousness of COVID-19 and discuss all safety and cleanliness expectations.
All coaches, athletes and personnel may be screened each day for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection prior to participating in any workout or gathering. Only school personnel, coaches, athletic trainers and student-athletes should be present during activities. Individuals having or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should follow state Department of Public Health guidelines that can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
Coaches should establish and maintain static groups for the maximum duration of any summer activity. The prior limitation of 10 students per group has now been changed to providing space large enough to accommodate 36 square feet per participant and the supervision of one adult per 12 students. Participants should maintain a distance of six feet between persons whenever possible. If activity requires closer than six feet, wear facial coverings. Also, persons should wear facial coverings when entering common areas and to the greatest extent possible
While on the field of play or court, all athletes and coaches should maintain physical distancing of six feet. Based on the activity or drill, if physical distancing cannot be maintained, students and coaches should wear a protective facial cloth covering. During group or position meetings, physical distancing should be maintained. Students should remain in static (same) groups– do not interchange group members.
When possible, have one specific entry and a separate exit point when arriving and departing the facility (gym, field house, weight room, etc.).
All equipment including balls, bats, helmets, gloves, etc. should be wiped down and cleaned after each group activity or workout. Avoid sharing equipment whenever possible. When conducting weight room workouts, spotters should wear a cloth facial covering. When athletes end a set, all equipment should be wiped down before the next athlete begins. After one group leaves the weight room and before the next group enters, the room should be completely cleaned and sanitized.
As soon as the workouts are complete, all student-athletes should leave the facility immediately. Students are encouraged to shower and wash all clothing that was worn during activities as soon as possible after returning home.