North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference earlier today, where he announced that school systems will be operating on Plan B which is a split, virtual and in-person, system this fall. School districts are also allowed to operate under plan C, which is strictly virtual online learning. Regarding sports, he announced that he is leaving the decision about whether or not to have upcoming athletics seasons to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA).
Cooper stated, “The NCHSAA will be making the decisions about high school sports and what they’re going to engage in.” He went on to say, “I love fall sports and enjoyed playing them in high school. I know a lot of our student-athletes want to get back into playing sports. The NCHSAA will be consulting with public health experts, including our staff here at the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s my understanding that they will be making specific decisions a little bit later on in the process.”
I’ve been thinking about this decision since I listened to Governor Cooper’s press conference on Tuesday morning, trying to weigh the good and the bad.
In my honest opinion, I think that since Cooper left it up to the NCHSAA to decide, they, in turn, will leave it up to school districts to decide whether they want to play or not. I think that the NCHSAA will give the go-ahead initially, but a lot of things will have to fall into place for sports to be played at their full potential. All in all, I do not think that it was necessarily a bad thing for this decision to be left up to Que Tucker and the NCHSAA board, but it does now present them with even more unanswered questions since the school systems will be operating at basically a fifty percent capacity.
It feels like, with every press conference and news release we get, more questions are left at the end than there were before. Hopefully, when the NCHSAA meets in two weeks we can get a plan of attack and know what to expect going forward.
Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: New GHSA shot clock rule good for the game. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to [email protected] and see them in our next Sunday Edition.
Georgia High School’s officially were able to return to workouts on June 8th. The GHSA held a meeting last week and voted to push back the original start date they had agreed upon, moving things a week back from the 1st to the 8th. The meeting was held electronically and was broadcast on the NFHS network.
“These kids have already been away from their fellow students for two-and-a-half months. They’ve already missed proms and honors nights. They’re ready to get back, and that’s been made clear to me from the hundreds of emails I’ve gotten from parents saying, ‘Please let our kids get going.’ It is time to get going” Executive Director Robin Hines said during the meeting.
The kids are allowed at conditioning workouts only, with strict guidelines put into place by the GHSA.
A few of the main recommendations and restrictions include:
- Member schools should prepare an Infectious Disease Prevention Plan prior to staff and athletes returning to conditioning.
- Groups should be the same individuals (including coaches) for each session to limit risk of exposure. Students or coaches CANNOT change groups for the duration of this guidance.
- There is no competition allowed between schools.
- Social distancing should be adhered to always and masks/face covering are recommended for the weight room.
- No use of locker rooms or shower facilities. Students should report to the facility dressed to condition and shower at home.
- Each student should have their own personal water bottle. No use of water fountains.
- It is recommended that staff and athletes are screened prior to each workout.
Honestly, in my opinion, these restrictions don’t seem like anything too extreme. After looking at the guidelines the NFHS originally released and then looking at these you can tell that the GHSA scaled some things back so it wouldn’t be so harsh on the kids and staff. On any account it will be nice to drive by the field and see some kids running around out there again. We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we originally though we would be at this point. All of this is moving us into the direction where I am getting more confident in the fact that we will see fans in the stands come Friday night football this fall.
Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: My take on CCS consolidation. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to [email protected] and see them in our next Sunday Edition.
The Georgia High School Association plans to reopen high school sports activities beginning June 8th, after Robin Hines (director of the GHSA) and his board of trustees came to the unanimous decision on Thursday afternoon.
Much like what I wrote about last week when North Carolina came to their decision to reopen, Georgia will do so with many restrictions. Restricted voluntary workouts under their coaches’ direction, that will fall under the guidelines of the current state order.
Hines said Thursday, “It’s time for us to get back to a sense of normalcy, These kids have already been away from their fellow students for two-and-a-half months. They’ve already missed proms and honors nights. They’re ready to get back, and that’s been made clear to me from the hundreds of emails I’ve gotten from parents saying, ‘Please let our kids get going.’ It is time to get going.’’
Currently the workouts are for conditioning only, which means no bats or balls or equipment will be shared at all. On the bright side at least all the kids will be able to get back together and see some normalcy in their life. A little bit ridiculous that football players can’t even throw a football around if you ask me, but I understand it’s for everyone’s safety and that the board has the best interest of the students in mind.
Another shining light in all this is that Georgia isn’t the only state to start pushing towards reopening school sports. States such as North Carolina, Texas and Iowa are also looking forward to starting back up. Iowa is even set to begin softball and baseball games toward the end of the month of June. Things seem to be looking pretty good on the horizon, and hopefully everyone will be safe and as diligent as possible so we can continue in the right direction.
Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: NC sports return on the horizon. Also, remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to [email protected] and see them in our next Sunday Edition.
Ask and you shall receive! The North Carolina High School Athletic Association sent out an email on Tuesday to over 400 member schools that declared its ban on sports related activities would end on June 1st. What a breath of fresh air to have a statement come out with actual substance.
The one thing that will hold schools back from resuming activities such as weightlifting and off-season workouts will be Governor Coopers mandated stay at home order. The commissioner of the NC high school athletic association Que Tucker said that if the stay at home order is not lifted by the June 1st date theyve set to resume activities, then they will have to also push that date back to coincide with the stay at home order until it is also lifted.
As of May 8th, Gov. Roy Cooper has allowed North Carolina to move into Phase 1 of a reopening plan which allows 50% capacity in retail stores and for child-care centers to open. It also calls for a 10-person limit on gatherings.
Later this month phase two is set to go into motion, which would likely increase the number of people allowed at gatherings and potentially open the door for student-athletes to return to campus.
I know we’re all watching the news and seeing that pro sports are likely to return without any fans and one would think that something like that would also be set into motion in the high school realm of sports, be it giving tickets to student athletes to give to their families and only allowing a certain number of people inside the gate, but that’s a different bowl of soup. I believe that we should cross that bridge when we get there, and in this moment be happy that there are even TALKS of a return to sports activities as soon as June 1st!