2020-21 NSAA Winter Season Guidelines

O’Neill – Circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing and the circumstances vary from community to community. Difficult decisions will have to be made from week to week or even day to day. The health and safety of students, staff, and local communities remain the priority of the NSAA as we provide opportunities to participate in the winter sports season.

Each school has the authority to determine if it will participate in the 2020-21 Winter Season. During the season it will be the responsibility of the host school to provide administrative oversight in compliance with established COVID-19 guidelines in accordance with their local health departments and facilities.

Additionally, the NSAA is requiring the following of host schools for all winter season contests:
• Participants are permitted, but not required, to wear face coverings during competition.
• Coaches and non-active participants are required to wear face coverings at all times.
• Spectators are required to wear face coverings at all times while attending indoor events.
• Host school requirements must be the same for all schools, officials, judges and spectators.

All participating schools, officials, judges and spectators are expected to adhere to these requirements.

The host school should make every effort to mitigate risk and provide adequate opportunities for physical distancing procedures for the visiting schools, officials, judges and all spectators.

Protocols for winter contest hosts to consider:
• Restrict attendance/seating areas
• Create separate points of entry for home and visitor teams/spectators
• Provide no concession stands or separate/multiple concession stands for home and visitor spectators
• Provide separate/multiple restrooms for home and visitor spectators
• Communicate availability of locker room space for the opposing team and officials
• Implement diligent and effective cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces

During practice, coaches should make accommodations for physical distancing whenever possible. Provide adequate spacing when participating in stretching, instructional time and drills. Conduct workouts in small groups whenever possible.

During competition, the team and bench areas should be restricted to essential personnel only. Coaches, officials, and players should be cognizant of physical distancing guidelines when interacting before, during, and after contests.

Schools are encouraged to play their regularly scheduled competitions unless a COVID-19 issue prevents them from playing. Member schools shall be solely responsible for determining whether a scheduled game, match, contest, or other activity is cancelled or postponed due to a COVID-19 related issue in consultation with their local health departments. Member schools shall notify the NSAA of any cancellation or postponement.

The NSAA has great appreciation for all its member schools and their tireless efforts to provide opportunities for learning and participation in NSAA activities. Communication, flexibility, and patience will be key in supporting our high school student participants as they participate in activities this winter season.

Click here for entire list of guidelines for every winter sport!