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Tippecanoe County Health Dept. releases plan for summer sports leagues

The county is following Governor Eric Holcomb's plan released on Friday.

Posted: May 23, 2020 7:24 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Tippecanoe County Health Department has released its plan for sports leagues this summer. The county is following Governor Eric Holcomb's plan released on Friday.

Non-contact sports can start practicing, but cannot compete with other teams. This includes baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf, soccer, swimming.

Contact sports, meaning sports where players typically come into contact with other players during play, are not permitted. This includes football, basketball, rugby or wrestling. However, conditioning and non-contact drills for such sports may take place.

The social gathering limits and requirements for players and spectators combined should be no more than 100 people. This is in accordance with phase three of Governor Holcomb's Back on Track Indiana plan, which started on Friday.

The county health department is also advising youth and adult recreational sports leagues follow measures for all practices and games, once games are allowed to resume.

The following list of guidelines was sent to News 18:

1) Symptoms

Athletes, coaches, referees, parents, and spectators with any of the symptoms listed below should not attend practices or games. A coach or administrator who observes an individual displaying any of these symptoms should immediately remove the individual from the event. An athlete displaying any of these symptoms should be safely isolated until a parent/guardian can remove him/her from the facility/field.

  • Cough
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees or greater
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

2) At-risk individuals

People ages 65 and older and those with health conditions should not attend practices or games.

3) Face coverings

Athletes, coaches, referees, parents, and spectators should wear face coverings during practices and games.

4) Social distancing

Social distancing of six feet should be maintained on the sidelines and during warm-ups, timeouts, and pre/post game rituals. The number of spectators should be limited and seating for spectators should be arranged to maintain social distancing. Signage about proper social distancing should be posted throughout the site. Facilities should have personnel available to monitor for appropriate social distancing.

5) Facilities

Hand washing stations and/or hand sanitizer should be readily available. Signage about proper and frequent hand washing/hand sanitizing should be posted throughout the site. Facilities and commonly touched surfaces should be frequently cleaned and disinfected. Locker rooms and showers should be closed. Concession stands may not open. Water fountains should be closed.

6) Physical contact

All athletes and coaches should avoid ‘high fives’, handshakes, team huddles, and other types of physical contact outside of the usual and customary contact of the sport. Drinks should not be shared.

Examples from the NFHS Guidance for Opening High School Athletics/Activities Sports Med Advisory Committee:

  • A basketball player can shoot with a ball(s), but a team should not practice/pass a single ball among the team where multiple players touch the same ball.
  • A football player should not participate in team drills with a single ball that will be handed off or passed to other teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed, and there should be no sharing of tackling dummies/donuts/sleds.
  • A volleyball player should not use a single ball that others touch or hit in any manner.
  • Softball and baseball players should not share gloves, bats, or throw a single ball that will be tossed among the team. A single player may hit in cages, throw batting practice (with netting as backstop, no catcher). Prior to another athlete using the same balls, they should be collected and cleaned individually.
  • Wrestlers may skill and drill without touching a teammate.
  • Cheerleaders may not practice/perform partner stunts or building. (Chants, jumps, dances without contact are permissible.)
  • Tennis players may do individual drills, wall volleys and serves.
  • Runners should maintain the recommended 6 feet of distancing between individuals

7) Equipment

Athletes should bring their own gear and equipment, including game balls, water bottles, towels, etc. The handling of all training items, i.e., cones, flags, goals etc. should be limited to coaches. Shared equipment should be frequently disinfected.

8) Other measures

  • Sign-in sheets should be used to gather contact information to contact participants if a positive COVID-19 case is reported.
  • Reduce the number of and the duration of practices/games. Minimize “idle” time before and after practices/games.
  • If a facility/field requires more stringent guidelines than these, then those guidelines should be followed.

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