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UIL Releases summer strength and conditioning practice guidelines

AUSTIN — The University Interscholastic League (UIL) released requirements and guidelines for its member schools to begin limited UIL summer strength and conditioning and marching band practice starting June 8, 2020 as restrictions due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic begin to be lifted across the state of Texas.

All information can be found on the UIL website at the following links:

https://www.uiltexas.org/athletics/covid-19-information

https://www.uiltexas.org/music/covid-19-information

Schools may use discretion when considering whether or not to offer in-person programs, and areas of the state facing COVID-19 related challenges should consult with local health officials to determine what additional restrictions, if any, should be added to these guidelines. Schools deciding to move forward with offering in-person activities are encouraged to do so carefully and with vigilance, ensuring safety requirements outlined in this approach are closely adhered to in order to mitigate risk.

The information provided and dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 related information. UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications to these guidelines.

“We are cautiously optimistic about beginning summer strength and conditioning programs and marching band practices that safely allow students to get back to working with their coaches and directors in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “While we are eager to resume UIL activities, we must do so carefully, deliberately and with an understanding that major adjustments are needed to ensure safety. The requirements outline an approach designed to help schools mitigate risk while ensuring students are physically prepared to return to activities in the Fall, should state and federal guidelines allow.”

This is an evolving situation. Please continue to check the UIL website and social media accounts for further updates.

COVID-19 Strength and Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction

UIL schools may, but are not required to, begin UIL Summer Strength and Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction beginning June 8, 2020 under the requirements described below.

UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications.

Deciding Whether to Offer In-Person Summer Strength and Conditioning

Schools should take their local context into account when deciding whether to offer summer strength and conditioning on campus by monitoring the situation on the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard. Schools should follow all local and state requirements when considering strength and conditioning activities.

Requirements for All Workouts

Consider having an individual wholly or partially dedicated to ensuring health protocols are being successfully implemented and followed. Schools must follow all requirements of state and local authorities in addition to the requirements below:

  • Attendance at workouts must be optional for students and in compliance with the rules for Summer Strength/Conditioning Programs & Sport Specific Skill Instruction noted below. In addition to on-campus workout options, schools should consider providing students guidance for working out at home or remotely away from school. This can include virtual workouts, emailed or otherwise electronically delivered workout instructions, or any delivery model approved by the local school district.
  • Attendance records shall be kept, however, students shall not be required or allowed to make up missed days or workouts.
  • Fees, if any, shall be established by the superintendent and collected by the school. Any payment to coaches shall be from the school and from no other source.
  • Students may not be given access to locker rooms or shower facilities. Students should report to workouts in proper gearand immediately return home to shower at end of the workout.
  • During workouts, schools must have at least one staff member per twenty students in attendance to ensure appropriate social distancing, hygiene, and safety measures are implemented.
  • Schools must have hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations readily available in the workout area. Students and staff should be encouraged to use it frequently.
  • All surfaces in workout areas must be thoroughly disinfected throughout and at the end of each day.
  • No clothing or towels may be laundered on site or shared during workouts.
  • There can be no shared water or food.
  • Before the start of summer workouts, and at the start of every week of summer workouts, schools should consider pre-screening all students for COVID symptoms that they or others living in their house may experience. This can be completed by phone prior to the first day of workouts,in person or in writing. Students and staff must self-screen every day for COVID-19 symptoms for themselves and family members. Schools should consider taking the temperature of each student each day at the start of the conditioning sessions, if possible.
  • Schools should plan for entry and exit procedures that reduce the number of students and parents congregating outside and/or mixing around the workout areas and parking areas. Consider staggering start and end times, assigning students to entries and exits to ensure even distribution of students entering/exiting at each entry point, providing guidance to students to enter one at a time and wait six feet apart outside the entrance.
  • If the school is planning to offer transportation for summer activities, schools should follow all TEA guidance and local guidance related to such transportation.

* Schools should consider having students remain with a single group or cohort to minimize the number of students and staff that must isolate if a case is confirmed.

Strength and Conditioning Workouts

In addition to the above requirements for all workouts, the following applies to strength and conditioning activities:

  • Sessions for strength and conditioning may be conducted by school coaches for students in grades 7-12 from that coach’s attendance zone.
  • A strength and conditioning session shall be no more than two consecutive hours per day, Monday through Friday.
  • A student shall attend no more than one session per day.
  • Strength and conditioning sessions shall include only strength and conditioning instruction and exercises. No specific sports skills shall be taught and no specific sports equipment, such as balls, dummies, sleds, contact equipment, etc., shall be used.
  • Except for reasonable safety considerations, such as spotting, students and staff must maintain at least six feet of distance from all sides when not actively exercising. When actively exercising, students and coaches must maintain at least ten feet of distance from all sides when possible. Schools should consider requiring students who are not actively exercising, but are spotting, to wear cloth face masks.
  • Indoor workout activities can be conducted up to a maximum of 25%. •Schools should limit the total number of participants based on available space to allow for the appropriate distancing between students and staff.
  • Workout stations must be spaced to allow for at least ten feet of distance between them in all directions. Some exercises may require more than ten feet of distance.
  • Any equipment must be thoroughly disinfected before and after each use. If a student uses a piece of equipment, that equipment must be thoroughly disinfected before another student uses it. Schools should limit the use of equipment to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Sport Specific Instruction

In addition to the above requirements for all workouts, the following applies to sport specific instruction:

Limitations and Rules

  • Sessions for sport specific instructionmay be conducted by school coaches for students in grades 7-12 from that coach’s attendance zone.
  • Sessions may be conducted in addition to the strength and conditioning session(s), and a student shall attend no more than 90 minutes per day of sport specific skill instruction with no more than 60 minutes per day in a given sport, Monday through Friday.
  • Sport specific skill sessions may include specific sports equipment, but contact equipment (restricted equipment) is not allowed. School shorts, shirts and shoes may be provided by the school (local school option) but may not be laundered on-site.
  • No competitive drills involving one or more students on offensive against one or more students on defensive may be conducted.

Examples (including but not limited to):

▪Basketball players may participate in drills, but cannot conduct drills / activities against a defender.

▪In football, offensive / defensive drills are allowed, but no 7 on 7, or offense vs defense drills are allowed, etc.

 

Sport Specific Activities Conducted Outdoors

Risk Mitigation

  • Students and staff must maintain at least six feet of distance from all sides when not actively exercising. When actively exercising, students and coaches must maintain at least ten feet of distance from all sides when possible.
  • Schools should limit the total number of participants based on available space to allow for the appropriate distancing between students and staff.
  • Students may be placed in working groups no larger than 15 total students.Each working group should maintain appropriate distance fromother working groups.
  • Any equipment, such as sports balls, should be regularly disinfected during workout sessions. This equipment should not be shared between groups. After a group has used such equipment, that equipment must be thoroughly disinfected before being used by a different group.

Sport Specific Activities Conducted Indoors

Risk Mitigation

  • Students and staff must maintain at least six feet of distance from all sides when not actively exercising. When actively exercising, students and coaches must maintain at least ten feet of distance from all sides when possible.
  • Schools should limit the total number of participants based on available space to allow for the appropriate distancing between students and staff.
  • Indoor workout activities can be conducted up to a maximum of 25% capacity.
  • Students may be placed in working groups no larger than 10 total students. Each working group should maintain appropriate distance from other working groups.
  • Any equipment, such as sports balls, should be regularly disinfected during workout sessions. This equipment should not be shared between groups. After a group has used such equipment, that equipment must be thoroughly disinfected before being used by a different group.

 

Positive Cases and Staff or Students Showing COVID Symptoms

  • If a positive case is identified among a participant in these summer activities, either staff or student, the group to which that staff or student was assigned and in contact with must be removed from the sessions while all members of the group self-isolate. If the confirmed individual regularly had close contact outside a single group, then all of the students and staff with whom the confirmed individual had close contact shall be removed from workouts for two weeks. *Schools should consider having students remain with a single group or cohort to minimize the number of students and staff that must isolate if a case is confirmed.

For example: If a student in one cohort tests positive for COVID, the student and that one cohort must isolate. If that student was part of several cohorts, then the student and all of the cohorts they were a member of would have to isolate.

  • Any staff member or student who experiences any of the symptoms of COVID (listed below) should self-isolate until the below conditions have been met.

*In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may visit when all three of the following criteria are met: at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and the individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared; or

In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above; or

*If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.

  • Any student or staff member living with someone who experiences any of the symptoms of COVID, whether they have a positive COVID test or not, should self-isolate for two weeks. If they do not experience any COVID symptoms during that period, they can return to summer workouts. If they experience symptoms, they must self-isolate until the conditions outlined above have been met.

COVID Symptoms for Screening

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is a lab confirmed to have COVID-19

Important dates for coaches, athletes, and parents pertaining to Section 1206 (h), UIL C&CR.

ALL DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON COVID RELATED

INFORMATION.

  • Beginning Date for Summer Strength/Conditioning Programs and Sport Specific Skill Instruction

*The starting date shall be no earlier than June 8, 2020.

  • Ending Date for Summer Strength/Conditioning Programs and Sport Specific Skill Instruction

*Junior High (incoming 7thand 8thgrade) –Programs may run up to the day prior to the first day of school.

*High School (incoming 9th grade through 12th grade) –Programs may run up to the day prior to the first day of school or the first day of the sports season, whichever is earlier. For athletes that participate in a sport that may start prior to the first day of school (football, volleyball, tennis, & cross country), those athletes may not attend a summer strength/conditioning program or sport specific skill session in any sport once their sport season has begun.

  • Period of No Activity–During a “Period of no Activity”, no school facilities may be open for student-athletes.

Friday, July 3, 2020

*Tuesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8, 2020

*Monday, July 20 and Tuesday, July 21, 2020