ALBEMARLE –– In less than a week, more than 400 high school athletic teams within North Carolina will be allowed to begin summer activities and workouts for fall sports.
Stanly County’s teams, however, won’t be partaking just yet.
Even though the N.C. High School Athletic Association announced Monday that its board of directors decided to formally end its 94-day dead period on June 15, Stanly County athletic programs will wait until July 6 to resume in-person activities.
“Safety measures and protocols will be in place at that time to allow for a safe environment for all to resume extracurricular activities,” the West Stanly Athletics’ Twitter account posted Monday afternoon.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools sent emails to its coaches Monday informing them that they have also pushed their start date back to July 6 to ensure that procedures and equipment are fully ready.
This isn’t exactly a surprise; the NCHSAA has made it clear that despite the lifting of its dead period, it will be up to individual school systems — superintendents and local boards of election — to make the final call on whether high school sports can resume.
According to the NCHSAA’s June 8 update, the association’s staff has been working alongside its own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to generate a three-phased approach to summer activities that complies with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Requirements for “Phase One” have been released, while guidelines for the second and third phases “will be distributed in the coming weeks in consultation with state leaders,” the NCHSAA’s statement announced.
In Phase One, students will be able to participate in workouts as long as they provide daily monitoring forms (with temperature and symptom checks), completed screening questions, and a physical examination form dated on or after March 1 of last year. Phase One dictates that any student with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be sent home.
In addition, workouts will be limited to 90 minutes, outside gatherings are limited to 25 people and gymnasium gatherings are limited to 10 people, including coaches and trainers. High schools will be required to provide regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces as well as hand sanitizer for everyone involved.
The NCHSAA also announced Monday that its annual dead period between July 20 and July 26 will be disregarded this year. That time slot is usually reserved for N.C. Coaches Association clinics and East-West All-Star games, both of which are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.