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Sports >  High school sports

Goal to start ‘on time,’ Idaho issues guidelines for return of fall sports

UPDATED: Thu., July 16, 2020

Coeur d'Alene's Jake Brown runs the ball against Rigby during a high school football game on August 30, 2019, at Coeur d'Alene High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Coeur d'Alene's Jake Brown runs the ball against Rigby during a high school football game on August 30, 2019, at Coeur d'Alene High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The Idaho High School Activities Association on Thursday issued guidelines for Idaho schools to begin activities for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

“It is the goal of the Idaho High School Activities Association to start all activities on time this fall,” the guideline states in its general overview section.

Last week, Washington pushed back the start of practice for fall sports for more than two weeks across the state. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association board plans to meet Monday and Tuesday and is scheduled to provide an update of its recommendations by Wednesday, July 22.

Like the WIAA’s guidelines, the IHSAA said, “It is not likely that ALL students will be able to return to, and sustain, athletic activity at the same time in all schools and regions in Idaho. There will also likely be variation in what sports and activities are allowed to be played and held.”

The IHSAA document includes information for school requirements, suggested school guidelines, NFHS and IHSAA Sports Medicine Committee guidelines, event hosting criteria, returning to participate and individual sport guidelines.

All schools who host events are required to have a plan in place for:

  • Fans and team’s attendance (in conjunction with the state’s four-stage reopening guidelines);
  • Transportation, when applicable, for practices and games;
  • Positive test of student-athlete or coach;
  • Return to participate (in conjunction with the local school board and local health department).

The 52-page IHSAA manual did not provide statewide, standardized instructions regarding testing. Rather, the guidelines leave it up to the individual school districts, in conjunction with local and municipal health boards, to develop and implement protocols for testing, monitoring and return of players, coaches and administrators who might test positive for COVID-19.

The manual suggests “state, local or school district guidelines for cloth face coverings should be strictly followed,” and that “coaches, officials and other contest personnel must wear cloth face coverings at all times.”

The goals and requirements of the IHSAA document are “subject to change” based on directives from the governor’s office, the Idaho State Board of Education or the IHSAA board of directors.

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