News · Concord Athletics COVID-19 Return to Play Plan


The following is updated as of 10:00 AM on July 16.  Information in regard to COVID-19 can change rapidly and plans will be updated to reflect any changes in guidance by the CDC, IDOE, IHSAA, Elkhart County Health Department, or Concord Community Schools.

The following guidance was released as part of Indiana’s “IN-CLASS” plan.  Concord staff compiled our specified protocols utilizing this guidance along information from the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA).

Phase I: July 6-August 2:

  • Students should be limited to 15 hours per week on campus.
  • Individual students are limited to 15 total hours of school contact activity per calendar week. (The Sunday Rule will be enforced)
  • School contact activity includes conditioning and sport-specific activities.
  • No sport/activity may have more than two activity days per calendar week. Each sport must register their activity days in the office of the Athletic Director at least 10 days in advance. Sport-specific activity days may not occur on consecutive calendar days.
  • Activity days are limited to three hours per day. (Six hours per calendar week.)
    • Concord will limit this to two hours per day (four hours per calendar week) per sport. Additionally, a student who plays more than one sport may have a maximum of three sport-specific hours per day (Example:  A student who goes to two hours of football sport-specific activity on a given day may only go to one hour of basketball that same day)
  • Conditioning is limited to four days per week. Conditioning sessions may be held multiple times each day, each session limited to two hours. Student athletes may attend only one conditioning session per day.
  • ALL SUMMER ACTIVITIES ARE VOLUNTARY
  • All State and local guidelines for group limitations must be followed and social distancing is encouraged.
  • Any student who prefers to wear a face covering for activities should be allowed, if doing so will not cause a health risk.
  • Students, when not engaging in vigorous activity and when practical, should wear face coverings.
    • Students will be expected to have their own mask and to wear it at times when social distancing is not possible (except when engaged in rigorous activity)
  • Non-students, including coaches, medical-related staff, directors, security staff, supervisors, etc. should wear face coverings at all times unless under rigorous activity or poses a health risk.
    • Coaches and other team personnel are expected to maintain social distance as much as possible. When this is not possible, coaches and other team personnel are expected to wear masks.
  • Only essential student athletes, student participants, coaches, medical staff, related supervisors, directors, and security should be in attendance.
  • Consideration should be given to vulnerable individuals and it is encouraged for those individuals to seek medical guidance regarding his/her individual level of participation.
  • An alternate command structure for coaching staff should be established in case of illness.
  • Prior to participation, all first-time student athletes are required to have an IHSAA pre-participation physical for the upcoming school year. Returning student athletes are not required to obtain a new IHSAA pre-participation physical but should provide a 2020-21 IHSAA Health History Update Questionnaire and Consent & Release Certificate prior to participation.  Physical Information Page
  • All students and staff should be trained and screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to participating in workouts, rehearsals, or practices.
  • Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating. If this is not possible, hand sanitizer should be plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
    • Handwashing signs provided by the CDC will be displayed at all handwashing facilities.
    • All coaches and students will be reminded that hand washing is preferred over using hand sanitizer.
    • One of the restrooms in the Fitness and Performance Center, as well as the bathroom in the training room will have doors propped open and be designated for hand washing only.
    • Concord Community Schools will provide ample hand sanitizer throughout the indoor and outdoor facilities for times when hand washing is not an available option.
  • Locker rooms should not be utilized. Students should report to their activity in proper gear and immediately return home to shower at the conclusion. Restrooms should remain available for student athletes and athletic staff, however social distancing is encouraged.
    • Students will not be allowed to store personal clothing / equipment in locker rooms until further notice.
    • Students will be trained and expected to clean / sanitize equipment at home.
    • Students will not be allowed to utilize showers in any Concord facility until further notice.
  • Gathering sizes should be decreased as much as possible to reduce risk. Workouts should be conducted in defined, smaller groups of students with the same students always together. Reduce gathering size by half capacity in large areas (weight room, band rooms, wrestling rooms, etc.).
    • Capacity in the FPC will be reduced to 50.
    • The total of number of students permitted in the Athletic Training Room will be reduced.
    • Volleyball will make use of multiple courts in our three gymnasiums to help increase distancing.
    • Athletes will be placed into pre-assigned sub-groups in each sport to help reduce the amount of contact amongst students.
  • The goal of social distancing is defined by the If it is not possible to follow these guidelines indoors or outdoors, then create as much distance as possible. It is expected that participants and coaches wear face coverings when distancing is limited and the individual is not participating in rigorous activity. For sidelines, benches, or other holding areas, consider establishing protocol as a guide for students and coaches. The goal and expectation is no contact.
    • Coaches will be expected to monitor groupings of athletes before, during, and after practice to ensure proper distancing.
  • Consider scheduling adjustments to reduce the number of events, duration, and/or participants present.
    • All youth camps during the month of July are canceled or postponed to later in the year.
    • Concord will not travel to or host any competitions with other schools during the month of July.
  • Cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all facilities and 19 equipment to mitigate any communicable diseases. Review the plan and supply inventory to thoroughly clean and disinfect prior to and after usage following CDC, EPA , and OSHA The plan should be clear on who cleans and appropriate training and PPE is provided for such.
    • Athletic staff have already met with building services staff to ensure proper time is blocked for deep cleaning and sanitizing of each facility.  Specific procedures and responsibilities have also been outlined.
  • School activities using off-site, non-school owned facilities and equipment for related activities should work with the off-site facility provider to ensure the associated and relevant safety measures are in place. If transporting to and from workouts, rehearsals, or practices, transportation safety measures and cleaning regarding team or group transportation must be followed.
    • The only offsite facilities we will use during July will be Ox Bow Park for cross country and Bent Oak for golf.  Students provide their own transportation directly to and from each location.  Both locations allow for adequate social distancing to occur.
  • Appropriate clothing/shoes should be worn at all times to minimize transmission.
  • No sharing of clothing, shoes, towels, or water bottles.
  • Hand sanitizer should be plentiful and available at all times.
  • Students who are sharing rides to and from practice are strongly encouraged to use masks while in the vehicle.
  • If equipment must be shared, including sports balls or other personal items, weight room facilities, non-wind instruments, etc., this equipment should be cleaned prior to use and immediately following usage. Responsibility for cleaning should be clear and appropriate training and PPE should be provided.
    • Sanitizing solution will be provided at each weight room station to be wiped down at the completion of an individual use of equipment.
    • Training from qualified professional staff member will be provided to all students to ensure appropriate cleaning after use of weight equipment.
  • Equipment such as weight benches, athletic pads, etc. having holes with exposed foam should be covered or discarded.
    • Concord has a new weight room with equipment in excellent condition. Staff will continue to monitor equipment and remove from service any equipment that becomes damaged.
  • Students must be expected to shower at home and wash workout clothing immediately upon returning to their home. If a student does not have a laundered uniform, he/she may not be allowed to participate in practice or competition.
  • If schools launder student gear or uniforms, PPE must be available for the person in charge of laundering.
  • Free weight exercises requiring a spotter cannot be conducted. Safety measures in all forms must be strictly enforced in the weight room.
  • For contact sports, no contact is allowed.
    • The IHSAA has informed us that the only sport we offer that is officially defined as a contact sport is football.
  • Shared hydration stations (water trough, water fountains, water hose, etc.) should not be utilized except for filling individual, labeled water bottles.
    • Students will be required to bring their own, prefilled and labeled water bottle in order to practice.
  • No formal competition is allowed.
    • Concord will not travel to or host any other schools for competition during the month of July.
  • Pool usage is acceptable. Schools should take necessary steps to promote health and safety both in the water and out by social distancing and using good hygiene.
    • The Concord Aquatic Center has prepared their own return-to-play protocol and procedures.
  • State and local guidelines that may determine when and how recreational water facilities may operate should be followed.

Phase II A: August 3 – August 14 (Items listed are those that are different from Phase I)

  • If locker rooms or meeting rooms are used, 50 percent capacity is recommended.
    • Locker rooms and shower facilities will continue to be closed during this phase.
  • Contact is allowed as defined by the IHSAA.
  • Free weight exercises requiring a spotter can be conducted. Safety measures in all forms must be strictly enforced in the weight room.
    • Weight room spotters are required to wear a mask.
  • Celebratory and sportsmanship acts that involve contact should be prohibited.
  • No formal competition is allowed with the exception of girls golf.
    • The first contest scheduled for girls golf is Monday, August 3 at Black Squirrel
  • Winter and spring sports may only do conditioning until August 31 per IHSAA limited contact rule
    • This rule governs when out-of-season sports may conduct workouts and is independent of any COVID-19 related situations.

Phase III:  August 15 and beyond (Items listed are those that are different from Phase II)

  • If locker rooms or meeting rooms are used, 50 percent capacity is recommended. *If the restriction to 50 percent capacity at competitive events creates a hardship and impacts the hygiene or safety of students, a 50 percent or greater capacity is allowed.
    • This will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
    • Masks will be required in locker room situations where social distancing is not possible.
  • Consider scheduling adjustments to reduce the number of events, duration, and/or participants present.
    • Schedules will be evaluated as the date draws closer to determine how to best comply with this guidance.
  • Hospitality rooms for officials should not include shared food service and should allow space for social distancing. Individual waters and pre-packaged snacks may be made available.
    • This matches our long-standing procedures.
  • Contact should be limited to only contact necessary to compete as defined by IHSAA. Modified sportsmanship practices should be observed.
    • Coaches will instruct athletes on proper post-game sportsmanship protocols.
  • Competition may begin.
  • Spectators, media, and vendors can be present but should implement social distancing and follow established mass gathering guidelines.
    • We will continue to monitor guidance from the Governor’s office, the IDOE, and Health Department to establish guidelines and procedures for spectators.
  • Concessions may be sold if food handlers and cashiers use appropriate PPE and only prepared, prepackaged food is available.
    • The IHSAA has indicated we can expect more guidance in relation to this item.

GENERAL

Pre- Workout/Contest Screening:

Any person who has had a fever or cold symptoms in the previous 24 hours should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.  A record should be kept of all individuals present.

  • Concord staff will educate students and parents as to the symptoms of COVID-19 and ask them to pre-screen at home. Students who attend practice are certifying themselves to be free of those symptoms.
  • Concord staff will take daily attendance of all students and coaching staff prior to each practice and maintain records that can be transmitted immediately upon request. Staff will also maintain records of which students were in each cohort group during practices.
  • Students found to have multiple symptoms will be removed from practice immediately, required to put a mask on, and be sent home. Communication with parents, school administration, and nurses office will be done immediately.
  • Students who are sent home will need to be cleared by family physician in writing before being allowed to return to practice.
  • Students or staff who have had prolonged exposure to someone outside of the school setting who has tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home for 14 days, unless otherwise directed by the Health Department.
  • If a student or staff member who has been at practice tests positive for COVID-19, Concord Athletics will follow all guidance and directives from the Elkhart County Health Department.=

Equipment:

  • Students are required to bring a pre-filled, labeled water bottle in order to be able to practice. Drinking fountains and water troughs will be turned off except to fill water bottles.
  • Students and staff are required to have a mask available at all times, and to wear them except when participating in rigorous activity or when social distancing can be practiced. The mask must be laundered or replaced each day.

Definitions of Risk:

Higher Risk: Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants. (Examples: Wrestling, football, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer, dance)

Moderate Risk: Sports that involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can’t be cleaned between participants.  (Examples: Basketball, volleyball*, baseball*, softball*, soccer, water polo, gymnastics* ice hockey, field hockey, tennis*, swimming relays, pole vault*, high jump*, long jump*, girls lacrosse, crew with two or more rowers in shell, 7 on 7 football)

*Could potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of masks by participants

Lower Risk: Sports that can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.

Examples: Individual running events, throwing events (javelin, shot put, discus), individual swimming, golf, weightlifting, alpine skiing, sideline cheer, single sculling, cross country running (with staggered starts)

Transportation to and from events

  • Concord will not provide school transportation in the month of July.
  • Concord will not travel or host competitions as a school in the month of July.
  • Concord Athletics will adhere to transportation requirements set forth by Concord Community Schools for transportation beginning in August.
  • Coaches will be expected to establish a seating chart for all bus rides to assist in any contact tracing that may become necessary.

Social distancing during Contests/Events/Activities

  • Concord Athletics will follow the directives of the local health department guidelines and Concord Community Schools as it pertains to social distancing/ contests/ events/ activities.

CONTINUE TO PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
  • Strongly consider using face coverings while in public, and particularly when using mass transit.