Districts to Handle HS Sports' Return in South Carolina

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School districts in South Carolina will have the final say on when student-athletes return to play.

Under new guidelines released by the South Carolina High School League, teams may resume “limited summer activities” once their respective school districts permit students to participate in “academic group activities” on campus.

The league is asking that participation of athletes be voluntary during the summer. 

“Sports will most certainly be a tremendous catalyst for our communities to return to a much-welcomed sense of normalcy,” SCHSL commissioner Jerome Singleton said in a memo released on Thursday and reported on by the Moultrie News. “We must be purpose driven in implementing these guidelines to return to play.”

The league is proposing a three-phase approach to a return. The first phase would prohibit teams from using locker rooms, and conditioning and skill development would be allowed so long as it is done in groups of 10 or fewer, including coaches and staff. No balls or equipment are allowed through the first 10 days of workouts. After that equipment must be properly cleaned and sanitized.

Daily health screening would also be a part of Phase I. Anyone who has had a fever higher than 100.4 degrees in the past 72 hours, or with a cough and difficulty breathing, or come into contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 over the past 14 days, or with a compromised immune system may not participate, according to the Moultrie News.

Some sport-specific guidelines were also released, as sports like cross country, track and field and swimming are considered low-risk activities. 

Transitioning into the second and third phases will be contingent on “successfully meeting the challenges of each prior phase,” the league said.

“If we each do our part during this phase,” Singleton said. “We can return to play this fall sports season and beyond.”

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