September 03, 2020WHITEFIELD — At the last WMRSD board meeting held on Aug. 24, a unanimous decision was made to move forward with the competition phase of fall sports, but not without a lengthy discussion.
District Athletic Director Kerry Brady addressed the board's concerns surrounding safety. In doing so, she presented a well thought out plan that assured the Board along with parents, that moving forward would be beneficial.
Brady shared her thoughts, noting "Athletics in the WMRSD will look differently as we move into the fall. We will have new procedures, a regional schedule and a new normal that will be completely different than years past. I believe that it is important for our community and the student athletes to do the best that we can to provide them with the opportunity to play in a safe environment that benefits our
Students' health, learning and overall well being. The plan is flexible because of the uncertainty
of the times we are in. At the end of it we can only hope our student athletes have a good
The return to play will begin with practices starting on Sept. 8, and competitions beginning on Sept. 18. Part of the plan mandates that all sessions must take place outside, and no school buildings will be used for any athletic events.
Moving forward, games, regular practices, jamborees and tournaments will be permitted. Reusable, washable face coverings must be worn over the nose and the mouth when athletes are around others and not actively engaged in sport and when social distancing is not possible.
Obvious rules such as not sharing water or water bottles are also included in the plan. Another given, is that any individual who shows any symptoms of Covid-19 will not be permitted to take part in team activities. Coaches must obtain specific Covid-19 training and are not to leave athletes unsupervised. Athletes who are on the bench will be masked and six feet apart.
Drills with contact will not last longer than ten minutes. Coaches, nurses and administrators will be responsible for all of the COVID-19 protocols, including, questioning, sanitizing equipment and making sure athletes are practicing proper hygiene.
Each team will have a Covid kit which will include a thermometer, disinfectant wipes, Lysol spray and non-latex gloves, to name a few items. Staff and volunteers will not be permitted to transport any athlete who isn't immediate family members.
Chewing gum or sunflower seeds, spitting, etc. will not be allowed. Mouth guards are required, and must be properly stored and cleaned.
There are rules for spectators as well. No one will be permitted to a game without a face mask. No fans should attend a game if they have been in any contact with a confirmed positive Covid-19 individual within the past 14 days, have traveled outside the area, or have any Covid-19 symptoms. The Board will hear more about spectator guidelines this coming week and a final plan will be agreed upon at that time.
Transportation will consist of no more than 24 individuals on a bus, with the windows open when possible. Parents and guardians may transport their own athletes. There will be no late bus after school and no late practices.
If an athlete has a fever over 100 degrees, they must leave the facility. Locker rooms will be available, however with strict guidelines. A limited number of athletes may change at one time, and when possible, students should come to school dressed for practice to reduce the amount of time in the locker room.
Students who do show signs of Covid will be sent to an isolation area while they wait for a parent or guardian to pick them up.