The Missouri State High School Activities Association released a document for schools on Wednesday, July 15 outlining its requirements and recommendations for sports and activities during the 2020-21 school year with detailed instruction on challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to school administrators, MSHSAA Executive Director Kerwin Urhahn said the fall season would still be scheduled to begin on Aug. 10 with games resuming on Aug. 18. However, his letter added that sports and activities would not be allowed for schools that are not going to offer in-person classes.
According to an additional 8-page document, compiled by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and COVID-19 Task Force, MSHSAA will require temperature screenings before practices to insure any participants with a body temperature above 100.4 are sent home.
Individuals with a reading of 100.4 degrees or greater will be moved indoors for five minutes prior to a secondary temperature check. The second test will be viewed as a positive screening and the individual will not be allowed to practice. Those individuals will be required to provide clearance by a healthcare provider, documentation of a negative test outcome or complete a 14-day quarantine period before returning to participation.
Each school must appoint an individual in charge of ensuring the screenings are implemented. Every participant and coach/director are required to wear a mask or face covering throughout the screening even if they are showing no signs or symptoms. The rules allow for the temperature checks to be measured and documented at home before presenting the results upon arrival to the school.
MSHSAA also requires the wearing of face coverings when participants are not actively engaged in “strenuous physical activity,” and it strongly recommends still using masks in those situations as well.
To help enforce social distancing guidelines and restrictions, schools are encouraged to establish tiers of access, such as: coaches and players designated as essential; media designated as preferred; and fans and vendors listed as nonessential.
Officials and sideline volunteers are required to wear a mask or face covering during competition. Participants may not perform handshakes, high-fives or other similar extracurricular contact before or after games.
Further details on MSHSAA’s guidelines for opening sports and activities can be found at https://cdn.missourinet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-2021-MSHSAA-Guidelines-Recommendations-for-Opening-Sports-and-Activities.pdf