On Monday, 6/8 the Hernando County School District approved the proposed return to play policies and procedures proposed by the county Athletic Directors based off of NFHS and CDC guidelines and recommendations. What this means for each individual student-athlete varies depending on which sport(s) you play. For FALL SPORTS ONLY(Football, Volleyball, Golf, Cross Country, Swimming and Sideline Cheer), this means you can potentially return to summer workouts starting Monday, June 15th officially starting Phase 1. Please contact your respective coaches, if they have not reached out to you already, to confirm exact days, times and at which facility your group will be working out. As long as it is still deemed safe to advance to Phase 2 of the plan, ALL OTHER SPORTS will be welcomed back Monday, June 29th.
Regardless of your opinion on and experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, please keep in mind that we all want the same thing…for our student-athletes to be able to safely train and prepare for their upcoming seasons. In order for this to happen, and for this to continue to happen throughout summer and potentially the entire 2020-2021 school year, we must have 100% cooperation from all parties involved(HCSD, Administration, Coaches, Student-Athletes, and Parents/Guardians). We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we get back to work in preparing for another historic year in Springstead Athletics. Some highlights of the new return to play policies and procedures that are important to know, understand and follow as student-athlete and parents/guardians include:
- All Summer conditioning, workouts and practices are voluntary. Please keep in mind the FHSAA Fall Sports sanctioned official season begins July 27th. This is when the “voluntary” designation will be dropped as long as things progress as scheduled.
- As in the past, ALL athletes are REQUIRED to complete their athletic clearance, to include their up to date physical on EL2 forms, insurance and electronically signed EL3 forms, via www.AthleticClearance.com to participate in summer workouts, conditioning, and/or tryouts. Students must be cleared through Athletic Clearance by the Athletic Director prior to participation in anything.
- During each Phase, there is a specific number of participants allowed in each group, including coaches(Phase 1- 20, Phase 2- 40 & Phase 3- 60). During each phase, student-athletes and coaches will not be allowed to participate in workouts outside of their specific group or pod, no exceptions.
- Every day, student-athletes will have their temperature checked and asked a series of health and travel related questions prior to entry into workouts. If a student-athlete or coach has a temperature at or above 100.4 F and/or is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, they will be asked to leave and seek medical attention. They will not be allowed to return until the following criteria has been met:
- At least 72 hours have passed with no fever, without use of medications to reduce fever
- Must have improved respiration symptoms
- At least 14 days have passed since the symptoms first occurred
- Any person who has been on a cruise, traveled out of the country or to a CDC designated hot spot within the United States, will not be allowed to participate and must self-quarantine for 14 days.
- A requirement to enter summer practice/workouts will be for student-athletes to provide their own water jugs/bottles. Water bottles and other shared water dispensing equipment will not be provided by the school/coaches during the summer. If a student-athlete does not bring his or her own water/hydration, they will be asked to leave and not to return until this policy and requirement can be adhered to. All student-athletes should be hydrating around the clock. If you wait to drink until the workout, you are already dehydrated and at further risk for a heat related illness, especially in the Florida heat. Please take hydration seriously!
- Student-athletes will have to be dropped off and picked up at certain specific locations and times based on their respective sport and pod. If this cannot be adhered to, the student-athlete will be asked to not return until this policy and procedure can be adhered to.
- Locker rooms and showers will be off-limits for the duration of summer. Student-athletes are required to show up to workouts in proper attire, footwear and hydration upon arrival. They are prohibited from sharing clothes, towels, water bottles or really anything else with their teammates and coaches. When workouts are over, they must proceed directly to the designated pick-up area and exit the campus upon their transportation’s prompt arrival. Each student-athlete should shower and launder their clothes immediately upon arriving home.
- Throughout the duration of the summer, student-athletes and coaches are prohibited from spitting as well as any unnecessary contact to include, but not limited to handshakes, high-fives, and hugs.
- Student-athletes are only permitted to attend one session per day for the sport they first attend at the beginning of the Phase.
- Students-athletes are prohibited from participating in sessions for more than one sport until restrictions are lifted by the district.
- Face coverings/masks are encouraged for student-athletes, especially when indoors, but not required at this time.
Assumption of the Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. As a result, federal, state, and local governments and federal and state health agencies recommend social distancing and have, in many locations, prohibited the congregation of groups of people.
The District School Board of Hernando County has put in place measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19; however, we do not guarantee that student/athletes will not become infected with COVID-19. Further, attending activities where close contact may be inevitable will increase your student/athletes risk of contracting COVID-19.
By signing the FHSAA EL3 form, you are acknowledging the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that your student/athlete(s) may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by attending school athletic activities and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death.
All phases, timelines, and restrictions are fluid and subject to change based on CDC, state and local guidelines.
Safety must be our top priority!