INDIANAPOLIS – In lockstep with the Indiana governor’s office, the IHSAA released a congruent statement on guidelines to remain on track for a 2020-21 academic and athletic school year.
The IHSAA issued a statement Friday afternoon reading: “The Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) is pleased that the COVID-19 Health and Safety Re-Entry Guidance has been provided to Indiana schools today by the Governor’s Office and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).
“This guidance also includes a three-phased pathway for the return of education-based athletics which coincide with the previously scheduled first practice date for girls golf (July 31) and practice for all other fall sports (August 3). Girls golf contests are set to begin August 3 with all other sports contests to begin August 15. Over the next several weeks, the IHSAA will continue to serve our member schools in providing clarifications and further guidance for the safe return of athletic activities in our state.”
The Indiana Department of Education published a 36-page report this morning with its guidelines, and within its 36 pages is a sectional on extracurricular sports and the guidelines to starting back up. The plan is to work in three phases: Phase 1 from July 6-19 in a largely non-contact model; Phase 2 from July 20 to August 14 where contact sports can begin their routines and girls golf would begin its season; and Phase 3 on August 15 where competition seasons can begin.
The IHSAA was not immediate about its policies for fans other than social distancing at games is highly recommended, and of course is fluid as the days and weeks go on. The IDOE guidelines did leave it open to each school district and county to jurisdict as needed in accordance with health officials relating to COVID outbreaks or infections.
As of now, schools can begin fall sports practices on July 1 and the moratorium period has been waived to allow plenty of time to prep for the season.