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Panther Athletics

Schuylkill Valley High School

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Panther Athletics

Schuylkill Valley High School

Panther Athletics

Schuylkill Valley High School

Announcements and Important Events

Announcement

9 months ago @ 10:04AM

Spring Athletic Health and Safety Plan

SPRING ATHLETIC HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN

Schuylkill Valley School District

 

 

Overview

Covid-19 is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person.  The virus that causes Covid-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. Virus symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness or in some cases death.

 

An individual can become infected by coming into close contact (less than 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has Covid-19 as the virus is primarily spread from person to person. Infections occur from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Infection may also occur by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

 

While it is not possible to eliminate all risk of spreading Covid-19, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises there are many steps schools can take to reduce the risks to students, coaches, and their families.  The Schuylkill Valley School District will take precautions to help to ensure the safety of students and staff while following the recommendations of federal, state and local governments as well as the CDC, NFHS and PIAA. No amount of safety precautions, however, can guarantee a student will not become infected. As more information becomes available about COVID-19, this plan may be modified and updated.

 

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) season will set the start of the season for each individual sport.  The District or the Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association may adjust the starting date to a later start than the PIAA.

 

High Risk Groups

People with a higher risk of Covid-19 should not participate in athletic activities or attend any athletic contests.  Some of the higher risk categories are:

  • People at a higher risk for severe illness
  • People who are immuno-compromised
  • Older adults
  • Individuals with moderate or severe Asthma
  • Individuals with HIV
  • Individuals with Liver or Kidney Disease
  • Individuals who are Pregnant or Breast-Feeding

 

If there is a concern about the risk associated with participation due to underlying health conditions, the individual should consult their health care provider prior to returning to sports. 

 

Point of Contact

The primary point of contact for this plan is the Athletic Director. Secondary contacts are the Athletic Trainers.

 

 

 

 

Attendance

Any student-athlete or coach attending a practice or competition should be in good physical condition.  Anyone feeling sick or experiencing any unusual symptoms associated with Covid-19 must stay home to protect themselves and others. 

 

If a student-athlete starts to feel sick at a practice or competition, the individual should immediately inform one of the coaches who should isolate the individual.  The parent/guardian should be alerted immediately and the student-athlete should be sent home.

 

 

Mask Requirements

All coaches directly interacting with student-athletes will wear mask at all times in compliance with state rules and guidelines.

 

According to Pennsylvania Health Code Order of Nov. 17, 2020, student-athletes are required to wear a mask any time the individual is on campus.  This includes, but is not limited to, team talks/meetings, bathrooms and locker rooms, buses and vans, weight room, gym, athletic training room and all other indoor and outdoor areas on campus.  Face masks which are worn during PIAA competitions may not have any advertising or corporate names on them. 

 

 

Pre-Participation Screening

When a coach or student-athlete arrives for a team event, he/she will be required to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.  Following that, the individual will report to either a coach or athletic personnel who will screen each individual (see Appendix I).  During this screening process, coaches, athletic personnel and student-athletes must be wearing a mask.  Documentation will be done via a paper form or the use of online documentation.  Coaches will keep this documentation and will send it to the athletic trainers to have a backup copy in the medical files.  

 

If there is a finding of Covid-19 or a concern with a “Yes” answer to the screening questions, the student-athlete or coach should be isolated and sent home.

 

As part of this process, the individual conducting the screening may utilize a non-contact thermometer to take the temperature of each student-athlete.  If someone registers a temperature of 100.4 or higher, he/she will be isolated for 5 minutes and the temperature will be taken again.  Following another 5-minute isolation period, the student-athlete will have a 3rd temperature reading.  If the average temperature of the 3 readings is 100.4 or higher, the parent/guardian must be contacted to pick up the student-athlete.  Parents will be asked to have the student-athlete examined by a medical professional and to provide follow-up documentation that the student is free from the Covid-19 virus. 

 

 

Social Distancing

Coaches and student-athletes must stay 6’ apart as much as possible.  Workout and training activities must be organized to allow for this required spacing.  This includes student-athletes actively engaged in drills, as well as student-athletes waiting for participation.

 

Coaches will make every effort to group student-athletes in small pods as appropriate. 

 

Student-athletes should not enter or leave the practice facility together or within 6’ of each other.  Parents picking up student-athletes should remain in their vehicles.

 

Student-athlete and coach bags, apparel, etc. should be separated 6’ apart.  All personal supplies should be labeled with the owner’s name on it to prevent someone from picking up the wrong bag.    

 

 

Number of Participants

Each activity area will be limited to 15% of the total capacity for indoor events and 20% for outdoor events (or such other number as the Commonwealth, PIAA or CDC may determine) which includes coaches, student-athletes and athletic staff (officials, game workers, athletic trainers, spectators, etc.). 

 

 

Equipment Sanitizing

Prior to each practice and game, all equipment will be sanitized.  Student-athletes should not share equipment with one another unless inherent to the sport.  This includes athletic equipment, pinnies, towels, clothing, etc.  Whenever possible, any time equipment is used by one individual, it will be sanitized prior to the next person using that piece of equipment. 

 

Student-athletes and coaches will be encouraged to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer frequently during practices and games.

 

If a student-athlete wears a mouth guard, it must be kept inside his/her mouth for the duration of the athletic event.  If it is taken out, it should be sanitized. 

 

Bathrooms

A maximum of 2 individuals may be in the bathrooms at any given time.  These spaces will be cleaned on a regular basis.  Doors to enter these areas will be propped open when possible to allow for air flow. 

 

 

Weight Room

The number of individuals allowed in the Weight Room will be limited and determined by the activities being performed.  The coach or weight training supervisor will make this determination and enforce any and all limits.  Weight equipment may be moved outdoors or into the hallway when possible.  Strength training will be done using alternative means such as dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, etc. which can be allocated to one student-athlete at a time.  No more than one person may be at a piece of weight room equipment at a time and individuals must remain a minimum of 6’ apart. 

 

If student-athletes choose to wear weight-lifting gloves, these should be washed after each use. 

 

Hydration

All student-athletes must provide their own water bottles and hydration which should be labeled with the individuals’ name and should not be shared.  The District is not able to provide the use of coolers or water fountains during this time.  However, we have purchased water coolers with foot pedals to avoid any contact.  These should be used for refilling or emergency situations.   

 

 

Personal Conduct

There will be no chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers or eating sunflower seeds.  Student-athletes should not shake hands, high five one another, chest bump or hug during practice or games.  Fist bumps and elbow bumps should be used instead. 

 

 

Hygiene

Prior to and at the conclusion of a practice and/or game, student-athletes must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.  Student-athletes should shower as soon as they get home from an athletic event.  In addition, student-athletes should wash all garments and equipment after each workout.

 

 

Facility Cleaning

All facilities utilized will be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.  The Director of Buildings and Grounds will establish a schedule for cleaning. 

 

 

Travel to Away Competitions

Bus or van transportation will be provided to away events.  Face coverings will be mandatory for all trips and any and all regulations established by the busing contractor and/or school district will be strictly followed and enforced.  There is a limit of 2 individuals per seat on both buses and vans.

 

 

Team Meals

Family-style team meals will not be permitted unless they are approved by the Athletic Director.  If there are team functions that require meals, these should be individually packaged and participants must stay 6’ apart when eating and/or utilize seating barriers consistent with those in the cafeteria. 

 

 

Home Competitions

All home competitions will follow the parameters of this plan.  Individual sports will have specific guidelines based on the facility being used and the unique requirements of each sport. 

 

Contest sites will have sanitation supplies available for players, coaches, officials and games workers. 

 

All visiting teams will be required to present a Covid-19 screening certification form.  Individual school forms will be accepted or visiting teams can utilize the SVSD form. 

 

 

 

All Competition Considerations

The pre-game conference in all sports will be limited to one umpire, the head coach from each team and one captain from each team.  These individuals should be a minimum of 6’ apart and/or be wearing masks.  This includes the coin toss as well.  These conferences must be away from other coaches or players warming up. 

 

Coaches and players on the bench should be wearing masks and sitting 6’ or more apart.  Benches will be marked for seating.   

 

No sunflower seeds, chewing gum and spitting.

 

The scoring table will be limited to the home team scorer and/or timer.  If space is available, the visiting team scorer will be permitted at the table.  All seating will be 6’ or more apart. 

 

During the pre-game introductions there will be no hand shaking.  In addition, all players and coaches must be 6’ apart during introductions.  There will be no post-game hand shake line between teams and officials. 

 

Substitutions shall report to the scoring table but must maintain a distance of 6’ from other substitutes and scoring table workers. 

 

 

Locker Rooms

The number of individuals allowed in each locker room will be limited.  Individuals using the locker room will be supervised by coaches and must be wearing masks.  Limits for the locker room are as follows:

Boys Locker Room – 17 individual changing areas                               Boys Team Room – 5 individual changing areas

Girls Locker Room – 19 individual changing areas                               Girls Team Room – 8 individual changing areas

Boys Pool Locker Room – 11 individual changing areas                     Girls Pool Locker Room – 14 individual changing areas

 

Student-athletes should come changed for all practices and games.  When we return to in-person learning, teams and individuals must stagger the use of the locker rooms to conform with the aforementioned limits. 

 

 

Athletic Training Room

The number of individuals allowed in the Athletic Training Room will be limited and determined by the activities being performed.  The athletic trainers will make this determination and enforce any and all limits.  Depending on the time of day or season, individuals wishing to see the athletic trainers may be required to schedule an appointment online.  Masks must be worn in the athletic training room. 

 

 

Competition Spectator Information

Spectators will be limited at all games, and in some cases spectators may not be permitted.  Only 20% of capacity is permitted for outdoor games and 15% for indoor games based on current state rules.  If there is a change to the capacity limits, we will adjust our numbers accordingly.  Spectator seating areas will be clearly marked and will adhere to social distancing guidelines.  For stadium and gym event, spectators may be issued a voucher or be on the voucher list to purchase a game ticket.

 

All spectators will be required to wear masks at all times and will not be allowed to enter the playing surface or bench area at any time during the event.  All seating must be on marked spaces or areas.

 

Live-Streaming Games

Schuylkill Valley has installed 2 live-stream cameras on campus – 1 for the high school stadium (track and lacrosse) and 1 for the high school gym (boys volleyball).  All games will be covered via the NFHS live-stream format.  Viewers may sign up for a monthly subscription at $10.99 per month or a yearly subscription at $69.99 (or the prices set by the NFHS).  This entitles the viewer to watch any game being live-streamed throughout the nation on the NFHS platform. 

 

 

Consideration for Coaches

All facilities utilized will be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.  The Director of Buildings and Grounds will be responsible for determining the cleaning and sanitizing schedule.

  • Communicate your guidelines in a clear manner to students and parents.
  • Consider conducting workouts in “pods” of same students always training and rotating together in practice to ensure more limited exposure if someone develops an infection.
  • Keep accurate records of those athletes and staff who attend each practice in case contact tracing is needed.
  • Coaches may have to limit game day squad sizes for social distancing purposes.
  • Coaches are reminded to wear proper coaching attire per weather conditions.
  • Coaches should bring their own water bottle(s) and follow established guidelines for hydration. 
  • Coaches should emphasize the importance of hydration and hygiene with their student-athletes.

 

 

Consideration for Parents/Guardians

(A family’s role in maintaining safety guidelines for themselves and others):

  • Parents/Guardians should monitor their children for any symptoms prior to any sporting activities. Children who are sick or are showing symptoms must stay home. (If there is any doubt, stay home).
  • Parents/Guardians and coaches should assess levels of risk based on individual athletes on the team who may be at a higher risk for severe illness.
  • Provide personal items for your child and clearly label them.
  • Disinfect your students personal equipment after each game or practice.
  • Be prepared with face coverings for members of your family if permitted to attend events.
  • Inform coaches if your student-athlete has been exposed to someone who is known to have COVID-19.

 

 

Considerations for Media

  • Media members should complete a personal health assessment daily.  Any media member who attends a game in person will be subject to school district Covid-19 screenings including having his/her temperature taken. 
  • The media must make contact with the school prior to attending to make appropriate arrangements for attendance.
  • Media availability may be limited especially if there are limits on capacity.  Use of the press box is contingent on the requirements by the teams and coaches.
  • Media should be restricted to areas outside of the team areas.
  • Interview requests may be limited and only permissible if social distancing is possible.
  • Media are required to wear masks at all times.  Any exception to that must be approved by the Athletic Director, Principal or Superintendent. 
  • No media will be permitted inside the locker room or school building without prior approval from the Athletic Director.

 

 

Consideration for Game Workers and Officials

  • Game workers and officials should complete a personal health assessment daily.  Individuals working a game will be subject to school district Covid-19 screenings including having his/her temperature taken.  Any official or game worker that feels sick should stay home.
  • Officials will not have access to the locker rooms unless arrangements have been made at least 1 day in advance. 
  • Maintain 6’ of social distancing from players, game workers and other officials as much as possible.
  • Officials and game workers are encouraged to wear a mask at all times.  If an official is addressing a player or a coach less than 6’ apart, a mask should be worn.  This includes between periods/halves and before and after play. 
  • Officials should provide their own towels and hydration bottles.  These should be labeled with each individuals’ name on them and should not be shared with anyone.

 

 

Student-Athlete or Coach Who Contract COVID-19

If a student-athlete or coach comes down with COVID-19, the individual may be required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days and/or follow CDC or their doctor’s orders.  In addition, the team may also have to quarantine.  All decisions about individual Covid situations will follow the advice of the Department of Health and the Office of Contract Tracing. 

 

If a team is shut down due to Covid-19, any game that is missed can be rescheduled if possible.  However, if a contest cannot be rescheduled it will be recorded as a “no contest” and not a forfeit.  The only time a team would forfeit a contest due to a Covid-19 situation would be in the case of post-season tournaments. 

 

 

Sport-Specific Accommodations

 

BASEBALL

Sanitizer will be provided in each dugout or team bench area.

 

Balls, equipment and bases should be sanitized after each practice and game.  Shared equipment should be sanitized between uses.

 

No pre or post-game handshakes with officials or the opposing team.

 

Pitchers may not lick their fingers or put their hands to their mouths.

 

If pitchers are required to wear a mask (under PA rules), the mask must be a solid dark color.

 

Coaches should maintain a physical distance of 6’ from players and officials.  This includes 1st and 3rd base coaches.

 

The scorekeeper should be the only one who touches the scorebook.

 

The home plate umpire must wear a mask at all times.  The base umpire must follow the current Universal Masking order.

 

 

SOFTBALL

Sanitizer will be provided in each dugout or team bench area.

 

Balls, equipment and bases should be sanitized after each practice and game.  Shared equipment should be sanitized between uses.

 

No pre or post-game handshakes with officials or the opposing team.

 

Plastic face shields are not permitted during games unless they are clear and integrated into the face mask and attached to the helmet.

 

Pitchers may not lick their fingers or put their hands to their mouths.

 

If pitchers are required to wear a mask (under PA rules), the mask must be a solid dark color.

 

Coaches should maintain a physical distance of 6’ from players and officials.  This includes 1st and 3rd base coaches.

 

The scorekeeper should be the only one who touches the scorebook.

 

The home plate umpire must wear a mask at all times.  The base umpire must follow the current Universal Masking order.

 

 

BOYS LACROSSE

Players and coaches box is extended to the end lines to ensure that there is 6’ of distance between individuals on the sidelines.

 

Clear, non-rigid facemasks will be allowed.  These are designed to prevent bodily fluids from being exchanged.

 

There will be a modification for face-offs which will have 6’ of distance between the two players taking the face-off. 

 

Table personnel is limited to the official scorer and timer.  Visiting scorekeepers shall be in the visiting team’s bench area and not at the table.

 

There shall be a split substitution box marked with a cone so that each team subs in from their own half of the box. 

 

Players serving a penalty should sit in the back of each team’s side of the substitution box to allow for social distancing from others.

 

GIRLS LACROSSE

Players and coaches box is extended to the end lines to ensure that there is 6’ of distance between individuals on the sidelines.

 

During stick check, all players will place their sticks on the ground and a line (not a pile) 6’ in front of the bench.  The players should remain at or near the bench area. 

 

The normal draw mechanics will remain the same.

 

Table personnel is limited to the official scorer and timer.  Visiting scorekeepers shall be in the visiting team’s bench area and not at the table.

 

There shall be a split substitution box marked with a cone so that each team subs in from their own half of the box. 

 

Players serving a penalty should sit in the back of each team’s side of the substitution box to allow for social distancing from others.

 

 

BOYS TENNIS

There will be no pre-match introductions of competitors or hand-shaking.  1 head coach from each team and 1 player may participate in a pre-game meeting. 

 

To advance balls to the opposing side, players should use a racquet or their foot.  Players should not touch the balls with their hands and should avoid touching their face.  Players may bring a sharpie marker to label their balls.

 

When picking up a large number of balls during practice, ball hoppers or racquets should be used.

 

When changing ends of the court, players should walk to the right to maintain social distancing. 

 

During doubles, players should maintain 6’ of distance as much as possible. 

 

Players should utilize hand sanitizer regularly and avoid touching common surfaces such as the court gates, fences, benches, etc.  Players should only touch their individual scorecard.  These should be sanitized if being re-used for doubles after the singles matches are complete. 

 

Tennis racquets and other equipment should be wiped down regularly.  Players should not touch any other competitor’s racquet, water bottle, towel, etc.  All personal items should be labeled with the owner’s name. 

 

 

TRACK & FIELD

For all throwing events, student-athletes should utilize their own individual implements.  If this is not possible, implements should be sanitized between uses.  Throwers should retrieve their own implement upon completion of a throw. 

 

Pole vaulters should utilize their own individual poles.

 

For sprints, hurdle and relay events, lanes should be staggered to promote social distance. 

 

Middle distance and distance races on the track of 800m and longer are considered moderate risk activities and may be run in alleys or with one turn staggers.

 

Disposable gloves are permitted for relay events during the 2021 season.  Batons should be disinfected after each race and schools should provide their own.

 

 

Volleyball

For games, rosters should not be submitted at the pre-game conference.  Rosters should be submitted directly to the scoring table before the 10-minute mark.  Between each set, coaches should fill out their line-ups in the team bench area instead of at the scoring table. 

 

All gymnasium doors will be propped open to increase air flow.

 

Teams will not switch sides of the court or benches.  The home team will designate a side and will remain on that side for the duration of the match.  The team bench area will be expanded to allow more room between chairs. 

 

Substitutions may occur at the attack line so that the substitute is socially distant from the second referee.  Subs will not slap hands with the player being replaced and/or may not exchange a pinnie or any other item to signal the substitution. 

 

A minimum of 3 game balls will be used.  Balls should be routinely sanitized.

 

Gloves are permitted for use during practices and games.  Long sleeves and long pants are also permitted but they must be a solid, single color similar in color to the predominant color of the uniform top or bottom.

 

Game Workers permitted – PIAA officials, Home Scorer, Home Timer, Libero Tracker (if needed).  If a visiting team scorekeeper is in attendance, he/she must remain in the visiting team area and may not be at the scoring table. 

 

 

 

 

Adopted March 2021

 

Protect Yourself, Protect Others, Protect the Season

     

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