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CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released guidelines for the resumption of sports activities beginning June 15.

The NCHSAA Board of Directors met via the Zoom platform on June 5 to discuss the latest updates from Gov. Roy Cooper and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to guide member schools regarding summer activities.

Effective June 15, the NCHSAA will lift the current “dead period,” provided each Local Education Agency gives its OK and permission to do so.

The announcement ends a 94-day dead period for high school sports caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and comes as the NCHSAA releases strict guidelines for returning to play. It is to be understood that superintendents and local boards of education control when they will allow activities to resume in athletic facilities and venues, the NCHSAA stated.

The NCHSAA staff has been working closely with the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee on recommendations for member schools regarding summer activities that align with NCDHHS directives. The guidance utilizes a phased approach for NCHSAA athletes and is intended to help school administrators, coaches, parents, students and communities navigate a gradual reopening of high school athletic activities, it said.

The health and safety measures outlined in this plan were formed utilizing CDC, DHHS and NCHSAA information at this time. It is recognized, however, that the information and circumstances concerning COVID-19 remain fluid and variable, NCHSAA noted.

“Therefore, these guidelines are subject to change in conjunction with new knowledge of COVID-19 or changing social conditions,” the association said.

Guidelines from the NCHSAA largely fall in line with guidelines previously released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

All sports will be allowed to resume limited workouts on June 15, but restrictions will be in place to prevent physical contact and shared equipment. Schools will also need to provide hand sanitizer and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

Phase One contains a set of General Requirements that apply across all sports, with specific requirements for each sport. Guidance for Phases Two and Three will be distributed in the coming weeks in consultation with state leaders.

In order for students to be able to participate in workouts, the following documents are required:

  • Physical Examination Form – dated on or after March 1, 2019
  • Initial Screening Questions – must be signed prior to beginning summer workout
  • Daily Monitoring Form – daily temperature and symptom check

In addition to approving these guidelines, the NCHSAA Board of Directors kept in place the June 29 to July 5 dead period for athletics. However, for this summer only, board members approved the elimination of the NCHSAA dead period scheduled for the week of the NC Coaches Association Clinic, Monday, July 20 to 26. Schools and coaches are reminded that, per NCHSAA policy, participation in summer activities must not be required and cannot be a prerequisite for “making” a team.

The Watauga High School football team Twitter account announced on June 2 that athletes would begin summer workouts June 16.

“It will not be our typical summer Iron Pioneer workouts. We plan on training virtually and hopefully we’re able to train in small groups at school,” the post stated. “Make sure to lift and run on your own prior to June 16! Stay tuned!”

A team meeting will be held via web conference on June 15, the team Tweeted on June 9, followed by the beginning of workouts on campus starting June 16, split into four workout times.

Anna Oakes contributed reporting to this article.

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