MSHSAA sets guidelines

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 7/23/20

For the time being, fall sports in the Gasconade County R-2 School District are scheduled to begin with practices starting on Monday, Aug. 10 according to the Missouri State High School Activities …

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MSHSAA sets guidelines

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For the time being, fall sports in the Gasconade County R-2 School District are scheduled to begin with practices starting on Monday, Aug. 10 according to the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA).

In an eight-page document of guidelines and recommendations for opening sports and activities, MSHSAA and the MSHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) highlight several areas.

Upon initial return to participation, gatherings should be limited to no more than the current local recommended gathering size indoors or outdoors.

Increasing or decreasing tolerances for group sizes shall be determined by local and state health departments.

When initiating practices or rehearsals, it may be reasonable to consider having groups practice or rehearse together in smaller numbers to avoid the potential of large numbers of participants or coaches/directors having to quarantine if anyone tests positive for COVID-19.

Screening was another area of emphasis on the document.

Before practices or rehearsals,  it is recommended to track body temperatures (100.4 or greater) and symptoms of coaches, directors, staff, players, participants, etc.

Temperature screening may be done at home, documented and presented upon arrival to the school.

If home temperatures are greater than or equal to 100.4, the participant must stay home and not come to practice, rehearsal or competition.

If the screening is done at the school and the temperature is 100.4 or greater, the individual should be moved to an indoor environment for five minutes prior to having the temperature retaken. If the temperature remains at 100.4 or greater, it indicates a positive screen.

If anyone has a positive finding on their COVID-19 screening, he/she should be sent home immediately. If the person’s parents are not present, the participant should be escorted to a designated isolation room or an area away from others in addition to wearing a mask or face covering.

During physical activity, MSHSAA recommends:

• There should be no shared towels, clothing or shoes between participants.

• Participants should wear their own workout clothing and individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout.

• Refrain from sharing practice/scrimmage jerseys or scrimmage hats/caps.

• Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all contests, and practices/rehearsals.

• Athletic equipment such as  bats, batting helmets and catchers gear should be cleaned between each practice or game.

When it comes to staying hydrated, during practice of games, COVID-19 will significantly change that according to the MSHSAA guidelines.

• All participants should be required to bring and fill their own water containers/bottles. Water containers/bottles must not be shared.

• Communal drink stations such as hydration carts should not be used.

• Managers should not assist with the personal water containers of participants or staff.

Transportation to events was another area of focus.

• Schools need to consider social distancing requirements when scheduling contests and events for the fall sports/activities season. Social distancing (as required by state or local health department) will need to be maintained on buses/vans.

• Schools are encouraged to schedule more local/regional competition and avoid any competition that might require an overnight stay.

Social distancing at events was another area of consideration.

• Schools are encouraged to offer live streaming of games/contests/performances to reduce attendance at events so that current gathering size and social distancing requirements can be met.

As of now, only tier one (essential) and tier two (media) personnel will be allowed to attend events until state/local health departments lift restrictions on mass gatherings.

If these hold true, the Dutchmen/Dutchgirl Athletic Booster Club could lose concession stand revenue.

Since 2001, the booster club has raised and funded $479,300 worth of projects and equipment purchases for Gasconade County R-2 School District athletics programs.

The group also handles concessions for the high school football program in addition to indoor school events throughout the year including youth basketball tournaments.

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