• Athletics and Activities


    Athletics and Activitites The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has established a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee responsible for providing guidance to allow high school students to return to athletics and activities as soon and as safely as possible. The Greater KC Suburban Conference is also convening an Athletics/Activities Advisory Task Force that will be comprised of athletic directors from the Kansas City region that will be charged with reviewing State and local health guidelines, as well as NFHS guidance, regarding the 2020-21 school year to determine, among other things, the extent to which changes may be needed for each interscholastic sports and activities season.

    The Platte County R-3 School District believes activity/athletic experiences and competition can provide significant benefits to the physical and mental well-being of students. PCR-3 also recognizes that it is likely there will be variations in what sports and activities are allowed to do. The District supports the idea of returning students to school-based athletics and activities where it can be done safely. The recommendations for athletics and activities presented in this document are intended as a framework for designing return-to-activity guidelines that will be in accordance with state or local restrictions. 

    PCR-3 is currently involved with a number of other organizations and work groups in developing consensus on start-up strategies for fall sports and extracurricular practices/competitions. These strategies will be shared after they are finalized and approved.

    There are a number of actions sports teams and activity programs can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread during practice and competition. The more people a child or coach interacts with, the closer the physical interaction, the more sharing of equipment there is by multiple players, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Therefore, risk of COVID-19 spread can be different, depending on the type of activity. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in sports settings as follows:

    • Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.
    • Increasing Risk: Team-based practice.
    • More Risk: Within-team competition.
    • Even More Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area.
    • Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.

    Sport teams and extracurricular programs will implement several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for Considerations for Youth Sports:

    The Platte County R-3 School District will implement the following protocols related to extracurricular activities.

    Pre-Workout/Contest Screening 

    • Students and staff must conduct a personal wellness check before engaging in practice, workouts, or competition. Please refer to the Physical Health section for specifics. 

    Limitations on Gatherings

    • Gathering limits for practices and events will use current local health department limitations, indoors, and outdoors.
    • When not directly participating in practices or contests, care should be taken to maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual. Consider using tape or paint as a guide for students and coaches.

    Facilities Cleaning

    • Adequate cleaning schedules will be created and implemented for all athletic/activity facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases.
    • Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, high-touch surfaces within that facility will be wiped down and sanitized by District staff serving as the host for the event (chairs, furniture in meeting rooms, locker rooms, weight room equipment, bathrooms, athletic training room tables, etc.)
    • Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.
    • Hand sanitizer will be available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
    • Weight equipment will be wiped down thoroughly before and after an individual’s use of equipment.
    • Appropriate clothing/shoes should be worn at all times in the weight room to minimize sweat from transmitting onto equipment/surfaces.
    • Any equipment such as weight benches, athletic pads, etc. having holes with exposed foam will be covered.
    • Students will be encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning to home. 

    Physical Activity and Athletic Equipment

    • There should be no shared athletic towels, clothing, or shoes between students.
    • Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing (do not share clothing), and individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout.
    • Athletic equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear will be cleaned between each use. Other equipment, such as football helmets/pads, wrestling headgear, etc should be worn by only one individual and not shared.
    • Maximum lifts will be limited and power cages should be used for squats and bench press. Spotters should stand at each end of the bar.

    Hydration

    • All students shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles must not be shared.
    • Hydration stations (water stations, water troughs, water fountains, etc.) may be utilized but must be cleaned after every practice/contest.

    Contests

    • Potential Infection Risk by Sport (modified from United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – Sports Medicine recommendations) will provide a guide to assessing the risk associated with the different types of sport.
      • Higher Risk: Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants. 
        • Examples: Wrestling, football, competitive cheer, dance 
      • Moderate Risk: Sports that involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that cannot be cleaned between participants.
        • Examples: Basketball, volleyball*, baseball*, softball*, soccer, gymnastics* (if equipment can’t be sufficiently cleaned between competitors), tennis*, swimming relays, pole vault*, high jump*, long jump*, 7 on 7 football
      • Lower Risk: Sports that can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.
        • Examples: Individual running events, throwing events (javelin, shot put, discus), individual swimming, golf, weightlifting, sideline cheer, cross country running with staggered starts
      • *Asterisk sports could potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of face coverings by participants

    Transportation to Events

    PCR-3 will consider physical distancing requirements when scheduling contests and events. Physical distancing (as required by state or local health departments) will be maintained on buses/vans to the extent possible. Where physical distancing is not possible, face coverings will be required. Thus, multiple buses/vans and/or parental/guardian transportation will likely be needed.

    Social Distancing during Contests/Events/Activities

    • Sidelines/benches - Appropriate social distancing will need to be maintained on sidelines/bench during contests and events. Consider using tape or paint as a guide for students and coaches.
    • PCR-3 will use the following tiers to determine who should be allowed at events:
      • Tier 1 (Essential):
        • Athletes, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, security
      • Tier 2 (Preferred):
        • Media and parents
      • Tier 3 (Non-essential):
        • General spectators, vendors

    Public Attendance during Contests/Events/Activities/Performances

    Regarding public attendance at games, competitions and/or performances, the District will implement the following protocols:

    • Essential personnel only will be allowed near students during games and competitions. Those individuals will still do everything possible to maintain physical distancing.
    • Multiple shows may be necessary in order to provide an environment where physical distancing is easier to accomplish (band, choir, theatre, etc.)
    • Staff, students, and spectators will only have access to the necessary areas of the building for their specific event. Access to other areas of the building will be restricted. High-touch surfaces such as water fountains and restrooms will be disinfected before, during, and after each event.
    • Live streaming of events will be provided when feasible.

    Athletic Training Services

    Athletic trainers play a vital role as sports begin a cautious return. As health-care professionals, they can take lead roles in developing and implementing infection control policy throughout the school. PCR-3 will continue to emphasize and utilize athletic trainers for injury evaluation, treatment and risk minimization as well as being a vital component of any return-to-school and athletics plan.