BATON ROUGE, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – The Louisiana High School Athletic Association released its regulations for football, volleyball, cross country and swimming in regard to COVID-19 Friday.
The regulations and guidelines, which are effective immediately, were put together with support from the National Federation of High Schools, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and approved by the LHSAA’s Executive Committee earlier this week.
A copy of the full memo can be found here.
Among the highlights:
Scrimmages, jamborees and 7-on-7 drills between different schools will not take place.
With the regular season reduced, teams that do not qualify for the playoffs will have the option to play in a ‘bowl’ game, with schools scheduling against other no-playoff teams. Schools will have until the regional round of the playoffs to play the game with the two participating schools splitting the gate proceeds.
In an effort maintain social distancing, sideline boxes will be expanded to the 15-yard lines with teams asked to expand toward the bleachers if needed.
Roster limits are also recommended, especially for larger schools.
Masks will be required for those on the sidelines but not for the 22 players on the field.
Practice and intrasquad scrimmages are allowed in Phase 2 as well as static groups of 25.
When/if the state moves into Phase 3 of reopening, the sport can also move into Phase 3, allowing for interscholastic competition and static groups of 50.
In an effort to minimize the total number of people, staggered start times, limiting spectators to two per athlete or no spectators are options.
There are also options for individual time trial and team time trial racing and allowing up to 25 racers on the starting line in Phase 2 and 50 in Phase 3.
Masks are also high priority, and it is recommended that start/finish lines be placed in different locations.
There will be no awards ceremonies.
There are three options to running events: Traditional — girls and boys alternate by event; running girls events then boys events, or a virtual meet.
In the second option, girls would warm up, compete and leave with boys following. With the virtual option, teams would swim and submit results to a ‘host’ school that would then combine the results.
Entries must be limited to a manageable number, with a maximum occupancy of 25 people in Phase 2 and 50 in Phase 3.
It is recommended that swimmers wear a mask before the start of their race.
Rob DeArmond | The News