LINCOLN – NSAA Board of Directors hosted a special zoom meeting Monday where the group voted unanimously to approve the fall seasons for football, volleyball, softball, cross country, girls golf and boys tennis as well as further guidelines for the 2020 fall season.
According to a release from the Nebraska School Activities Association, the information has been distributed to all NSAA member schools.
As circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and vary from community to community, NSAA officials state difficult decisions will have to be made from week to week or even day to day. The safety and wellbeing of the participants and spectators is and always will be the primary consideration as opportunities are provided to participate in the fall sports season.
Football practices may begin on Monday, August 10 with the first contests being on Thursday, August 27 while schools with week zero games may begin on Wednesday, August 5 with games being played on Friday, August 21.
For volleyball, the deadline to submit varsity schedules to the NSAA has been extended from August 21 to August 27 and for softball they’ve been extended to August 20. All regular season games and matches that are canceled due to COVID-19 will be considered a “no contest” and forfeits will not be issued for “no contest” matches.
Each school has the authority to determine if it will participate in the 2020 Fall Season. During the season it will be the responsibility of the host school to provide administrative oversight in compliance with established COVID-19 guidelines in accordance with their local health departments and facilities. Prior to any contest, the host school administration will be required to notify the visiting school administration of their established protocols. The visiting team and spectators will be expected to adhere to all protocols established by the host school.
The host school should make every effort to mitigate risk and provide adequate opportunities for physical distancing procedures for the opposing team, officials and all spectators.
This may include, but is not limited to:
- Restricting attendance / seating areas
- Separate points of entry for home and visitor teams / spectators
- No concession stands or separate/multiple concession stands for home and visitor spectators
- Separate / multiple restrooms for home and visitor spectators
- Adequate locker room space / outdoor space for the opposing team
- Adequate locker room space / outdoor space for the officials
- Encouraging / requiring spectators to wear face coverings
- Implementing diligent and effective cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces
If a school has a player test positive for COVID-19, they will contact their County Health Department regarding a course of action.
It is recommended that players, coaches and spectators have their temperatures checked at home or at the school prior to participating in or attending practices and games. Any individual with a temperature of 100.4 or above should not participate in or attend practices or games.
During practice, coaches should make accommodations for physical distancing whenever possible. Provide adequate spacing when participating in stretching, instructional time and drills. Conduct workouts in small groups whenever possible.
During competition, the sideline/bench/team areas should be restricted to essential personnel only. This includes players, coaches, team trainers, team managers, game officials, statisticians and media.
Coaches, officials and players should be cognizant of physical distancing guidelines when interacting during the game.
Pregame and postgame interactions between opposing coaches and players should adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
Schools are encouraged to play their regularly scheduled competitions unless a COVID-19 issue prevents them from playing. Member schools shall be solely responsible for determining whether a scheduled game, match, contest or other activity is cancelled or postponed due to a COVID-19 related issue in consultation with their local health departments. Member schools shall notify the NSAA of any cancellation or postponement.