HUNTINGTON — The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association made known how it wants the 2020 season to play out amidst COVID-19 restrictions.
The OHSFCA, which represents coaches in 709 school districts, released an extensive outline of guidelines it’s recommending for play this fall. The association is asking Gov. Mike DeWine to review the information provided in determining his next steps. The OHSFCA proposals are as follows:
- For athletes, the OHSFCA emphasizes less contact, more isolation and daily sanitization.
A total of 80 yards of sideline space will be required this season (50 yards of sideline space was required in 2019).
Students to be limited to 18 minutes of full contact per day.
Social distancing required on the sidelines.
Athletes have individual water containers.
A symptom checklist for participants.
Hand sanitizer available on site.
Students to be provided an isolation room.
Players report to practice at staggered times.
Halftime length shortened to 12 minutes from 20.
Social distancing required in locker rooms.
Equipment to be sanitized each day.
Social distancing guidelines in place for all bus trips. One athlete per seat, everyone on the bus is required to wear a mask.
Periods of no more than nine minutes in pods for practice.
CDC guidelines for all meetings and film sessions.
Scrimmages limited to two teams.
Players to have four T-shirts (one for pre-game, first half, second half and post-game) and plastic bags provided for players to put shirts in when changed.
No post-game handshaking
Before practice, parents are encouraged to remind their student-athlete to take a health assessment. When they arrive at practice in their staggered groups, students will be given hand sanitizer. Players will report to their own water bottle/container and retrieve their equipment from the locker room. Players will enter designated areas to maintain social distancing before practice.
A four-steep procedure for checking players in to practice each day: Coaches will place players in pods and stagger the report time of pods; Daily temperature checks of players; Complete COVID-19 questions; Sanitize hands.
Athletes are to spend no more than nine-minute periods in pods. Eleven on 11 full-contact/live tackling practice is limited to a single nine-minute offense session and a single nine-minute defense session per day during the preseason. During the season, full-contact/live tackling will be limited to two nine-minute sessions two days a week.
Single practice sessions not be longer than three hours during the preseason and two hours, 15 minutes during the season.
Scrimmages limited to two teams and have a maximum three-hour time limit. Scrimmages to be played in nine-minute intervals.
After practice, field equipment will be sanitized and student athletes are not to loiter on school grounds.
Any player who has COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to immediately isolate and work with the local health department to identify who else may have been exposed. The athlete will also be required to be tested for COVID-19.
If a player tests positive for COVID-19, the school must notify all athletes and parents that are members of the team to tell them of the positive test. Opponents will also be notified if the infected individual participated in competition.
Athletes potentially exposed, within 6 feet for a consecutive time period of 15 minutes or more, must self-quarantine for six days following exposure. If they do not display any symptoms after six days, they are allowed to return to practice.
Athletes must not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 within 72 hours of a competition in order to participate.
- For fans:
Social distancing is required for spectators.
Face coverings must be worn by attendees, expect when not advisable for health reasons.
Seating will be designed for social distancing.
Temperatures will be taken of all attendees.
Spectators must conduct symptom assessment on game day. Aanyone exhibiting symptoms must stay home.
Standing along fences is prohibited.
Patterns for fan movement will be determined by the home team administration.
Fans must exit following the game and should not congregate.
- For coaches:
Coaches will be required to wear masks on the sideline.
Equipment to be sanitized daily.
Social distancing guidelines in place for all bus trips.
CDC guidelines for all meetings and film sessions.
Limit the number of non-essential personnel on the sideline.
Coaches to meet players at the bottom numbers on the field during timeouts.
Before practice, coaches are responsible for selecting a group of players upon arrival, as athletes’ report times will be staggered. The groups will be limited to nine players or fewer.
If a player becomes infected with COVID-19, coaches must work with their local health department to identify who may have been exposed.
It is recommended that coaches communicate and contact head coaches and athletic directors before traveling to their schools for competitions to share their travel itineraries. It is also recommended that coaches give visiting coaches a map or diagram of their facility.