Tag Archives: volleyball

Former Lions hope to rejuvenate excitement for volleyball through camps

By Chris Yow

Three members of the 2012 Columbia Central volleyball team — the last Lady Lion squad to earn a state tournament berth —came together Tuesday to pass on a little of their knowledge and passion to young players at a camp held at GameTime Sports.

Lexie Duncan hosted the camp, along with former teammates Hanna Slatton Johnson and Fanise Cannon. Around 30 campers attended the evening session, with cheers and encouragement filling the air as players from beginner levels to the more experienced worked on the game’s fundamental skills.

“Seeing these girls out here working hard and being excited about learning is really cool,” Duncan said. “We are so excited to be able to teach them about the game, let them touch the ball and get a feel for it during their summer.”

Duncan, listed among Tennessee’s top five for single-season and career service aces, taught beginners the art of the underhand serve. For her, just having a chance to make an impact on young players is a key element of the camp.

“We want to instill the same passion for the game we had,” she said. “It’s definitely dwindled down the last few years.”

Johnson added, “The love I have for volleyball, I want to see that in more girls in Columbia. I just want to bring back some of that camaraderie.”

Mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic, camp organizers worked to keep as much social distance as possible through small groups and other precautions.

“In volleyball, of course there is some close contact, but for the most part you can kind of stay in your own bubble,” Duncan said. “We want to be careful, so we have a disinfectant station and are taking measures to keep everyone safe.”

Duncan said this is the first of her summer camp series, and will continue in July and August with some play dates on Tuesday nights, as well as private lessons.

“Getting in the gym and working with these kids is a blast,” Johnson said. “We are having a really good time with them.”

Chris Yow is the multimedia director for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by email at sports@sm-tnsports.com or on Twitter at @ChrisYow14.

Meeting set to discuss dead period

David Bailey (left) listens as Columbia Central football coach Jason Hoath speaks during a Monday signing ceremony for Bailey. (Photo by Maurice Patton)

By Maurice Patton

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association will hold a specially called Legislative Council meeting Thursday remotely to discuss a possible one-year waiver of the dead period.

With schools dismissed statewide in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of coaches have expressed concern regarding the preparation time for the upcoming 2020-21 seasons that has already been lost.

As communities across the state begin to ‘reopen’, summer workouts are restarting as well. Columbia Academy and Williamson County Schools resumed activities Monday, with Maury County Public Schools to start on June 8.

However, the dead period is currently set to begin on June 22 and continue through July 4.

“It’s tough, because (coaches) have all told our parents, ‘please take your vacations here’,” Columbia Central football coach Jason Hoath said regarding a potential reversal of the inactivity.

Free physicals Friday: Maury County Public Schools officials announced that free physicals for high school student-athletes will be available Friday at Columbia Central High School beginning at 10 a.m.

Details were incomplete, but the physicals will be provided by Northside Medical Professionals, Maury Regional Medical Center and the MRMC Foundation, according to county athletics director Chris Poynter.

The physicals will be conducted in the event center at Central.

A later session is planned for middle school student-athletes, but has yet to be scheduled.

Columbia Central’s David Bailey (center, with mom Sharon, niece Makaila Hester and dad David Sr.) has signed a football scholarship with East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss. (Photo by Maurice Patton)

Bailey celebration: A signing ceremony was held Monday at Columbia Central for David Bailey. The three-time all-Region 5-5A selection committed last month to East Central (Miss.) Community College.

“David is everything you could want as a coach – not just as an athlete, but as a young man,” Hoath said. “He’s always ‘yes sir’, ‘no sir’, always willing to do anything he could for the team. We put him in some tough spots, and he never complained. His parents did a fantastic job raising a fine young man.”

Bailey, a 6-4, 270-pounder who lined up at defensive end and tight end as a senior, recorded 39 total tackles (eight for loss, including two sacks) last fall while helping Central into the state playoffs and earning region defensive lineman of the year honors. He also played basketball for the Lions and was a member of the competitive cheer squad.

Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at mopattonsports@gmail.com or on Twitter at @mopatton_sports.

Local coaches discuss plan for return to work

Columbia Central’s refurbished weight room will get busy as summer workouts under COVID-19 guidelines are set to start on June 8. Mt. Pleasant and Spring Hill will begin offseason practices then as well. (Photo by Maurice Patton)

By Maurice Patton

High school coaches in Maury County now know when they will be able to begin summer workouts with their athletes, and the COVID-19 parameters within which those workouts can take place.

How many athletes they will have to work with looms as the sticking point.

Chris Poynter, athletics director for Maury County Public Schools, distributed “a plan that is safe and realistic as it pertains to slowly opening our facilities and bringing back our student-athletes/band members to train and practice” to MCPS principals, ADs, coaches and band directors.

The plan allows students — with updated physicals — to “begin training, try-out and practicing for their respective teams” on June 8.

This portion of the startup differs from the guidelines previously recommended by the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association, in which an extension on physicals from the 2019-20 school year was suggested for participation.

“A lot can happen between March and the second week of June,” Poynter said, referring to the last school-related physical activity for MCPS athletes. “These kids have been sitting around since March. To have kids come out in 80-, 90-degree weather and ramp back up that quickly, we think it’s unsafe.

“In this season of COVID, it’s good to have a medical professional look at them. It makes the transition a lot easier and gives everyone that peace of mind.”

Coaches across the county are concerned with the prospects of all their athletes having updated physicals in time for the June 8 start.

“The first thing I did was call and make an appointment for my (children) – for Thursday,” Columbia Central football coach Jason Hoath said. “With every kid in Maury County trying to get a physical in Maury County in a week, I don’t see it as a realistic expectation. But we’re going to do the best we can.

“I understand the reason we’re doing it. You want to make sure they’re ready to participate after not doing anything the last 9-10 weeks. But it’s going to be difficult to get everybody in in a week.”

Poynter, who said priority for practice is to be given to fall sports (football, girls soccer, volleyball, cross country and golf) during the month of June, also said efforts are being made to secure free physicals with local medical providers.

“The logistics of getting 70-75 kids a physical in a week’s time – it’s sometimes hard when we’ve got three months,” Spring Hill football coach Ben Martin said. “But I’m just glad we have some sort of guidelines and have been given the go-ahead to start, to be able to tell our kids something and not look like I don’t know what in the world is going on when they call.”

Coaches will be required to submit their plans for return to Poynter during the upcoming week for approval. Those plans will include practice times and sites, as well as areas that will need to be covered by custodial staff.

Athletes will be expected to maintain social distance and work in groups of nine or less with a coach, with “noticeable distance and separation” between groups, whether working indoors or outdoors. The same athletes are expected to remain together as they move from station to station. Athletes can remove masks during physical activity but are expected to wear them otherwise. No physical contact is to take place. 

“It’ll be a little challenging at first, but I think we can make it work,” Mt. Pleasant football coach Bronson Bradley said. “The larger schools may have more of a problem than us, but I think we’ve got a pretty good plan set forth to go by those guidelines.

“I’m pretty excited … mainly to see the guys. I haven’t really seen them since March 14. I’m just excited to see them and get back in a routine of things.”

That routine will be somewhat shortlived, as the TSSAA-mandated dead period begins June 21 and ends July 4.

“We’ve got to get a plan together, use the space we’ve got to work with and get as much done as we can in the time that’s been allotted for us,” Hoath said. “We’ll do what we can do in two weeks.”

In communicating with MCPS personnel, Poynter was unsure as to how activities would continue after the dead period.

“At this time there are too many uncertainties to explore what the month of July moving forward will look like,” he said. “As we get into the month of June, we will be able to determine if we will be able to remove any of the restrictions outlined for the month of June.”

Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at mopattonsports@gmail.com or on Twitter at @mopatton_sports.

NFHS sets COVID-19 guidelines for summer workouts

SM-Tn Sports

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association recently distributed a pair of documents related to the restart of activities under COVID-19 guidelines to its membership, as programs begin offseason preparation for the fall sports seasons.

From the TSSAA:

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recently released its Return to Sport Guidelines to state high school athletic associations across the country. You are receiving this document from TSSAA to serve as guidance for informational purposes.

What has become very clear is that policies enacted at the state, city, and local levels may ultimately determine whether or not you are able to engage in the specific types of activities described in this document. As a result, TSSAA is not in a position to develop policy regarding coordinated approaches to activity. The NFHS guidelines are based on the federal guidelines for the phased reopening of America.

We are not aware of a central repository of information that delineates what recovery phase your school or school system may be under. When using this document, you will need to consult with local authorities in determining which of the three phases would be appropriate for the development of your specific guidelines. 

We know that a number of you either have developed, or, are in the process of developing your own guidelines for your school or school system. We encourage you to review the attached document as you develop your school or school system policy. 

If you have access to the services of a certified athletic trainer, school nurse, office of coordinated school health, central office staff, governing boards and local health departments, consider collaboration with these individuals in an effort to develop specific plans that will enable kids to safely return to activities. As we become aware of additional resources that can assist you in this process, we will quickly pass those along. 

In addition to guidelines for practice and conditioning sessions, the NFHS document contains guidelines for contests. Questions about regular season contests, postseason tournaments, playoffs and state championships are matters that we believe are best addressed at a later date. We will continue to examine these issues in an effort to develop answers as new information and guidance becomes available. 

We know these are important issues, but our most urgent focus is on safely returning kids to activities this summer. Preliminary research strongly suggests that school closure and cancellation of activities is having a significant impact on the physical and mental health of students. It is our hope that this guiding document will help schools design specific plans that maximize opportunities for their students to return to activities while minimizing the risk for COVID-19 exposure.

From the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee:

The COVID-19 pandemic presents state high school associations with a myriad of challenges. The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) offers this document as guidance on how state associations can consider approaching the many components of “opening up” high school athletics and activities across the United States. 

The NFHS SMAC believes it is essential to the physical and mental well-being of high school students across the nation to return to physical activity and athletic competition. The NFHS SMAC recognizes that it is likely that ALL students will not be able to return to – and sustain – athletic activity at the same time in all schools, regions and states. There will also likely be variation in what sports and activities are allowed to be played and held. While we would typically have reservations regarding such inequities, the NFHS SMAC endorses the idea of returning students to school-based athletics and activities in any and allsituations where it can be done safely. 

Since NFHS member state associations are a well-respected voice for health and safety issues, the NFHS SMAC strongly urges that these organizations engage with state and local health departments to develop policy regarding coordinated approaches for return to activity for high school, club and youth sports. 

The recommendations presented in this document are intended as ideas for state associations to consider with their respective SMACs and other stakeholders in designing return-to-activity guidelines that will be in accordance with state or local restrictions. 

Please note that the phases of “opening up” outlined below are based upon the White House document released in April 2020. Consult your state and local health departments to review if they are using a similar approach, or how the phases in this document correspond to your state or local governments nomenclature. 

Some state associations may wish to consider the following four questions before further deliberation on this document: 

1. Will your state association conduct an athletics/activities regular season or championship if public schools statewide are closed to in-person learning (apart from regularly scheduled school breaks)? 

2. Will your state association conduct an athletics/activities regular season or championship if schools are closed only in COVID-19 “hotspots” in your state? (excluding participants from schools that are closed)? 

3. Will your state association conduct an athletics/activities regular season in sports deemed “lower-risk” for COVID-19 transmission while cancelling athletics/activities considered “higher-risk?” 

4. Are there recommendations unique to your state – or regions of your state – that you need to take into consideration when developing return-to-activity guidelines? 

Points of Emphasis: 

1. Decreasing potential exposure to respiratory droplets is the guiding principle behind social distancing and the use of face coverings. It is also the basis of the stratification of risk by sport presented later on in this document. The use of cloth face coverings is meant to decrease the spread of respiratory droplets. As state and local COVID-19 prevalence decreases, the need for strict social distancing and the use of face coverings will lessen. Look to guidance from your state and local health departments. 

A. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is additionally “advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”

B. Recognizing the benefits and potential drawbacks of the use of cloth face coverings during conditioning and physical activity, the NFHS SMAC recommends the following: 

i. State, local or school district guidelines for cloth face coverings should be strictly followed. 

ii. Cloth face coverings should be considered acceptable. There is no need to require or recommend “medical grade” masks for athletic activity. 

iii. Any student who prefers to wear a cloth face covering during a contest should be allowed to do so. 

iv. In the absence of guidelines to the contrary, we recommend that cloth face coverings be worn by students during Phases 1 and 2 as outlined below. Exceptions are swimming, distance running or other high intensity aerobic activity. Cloth face coverings may continue to be used during Phase 3 when not engaging in vigorous activity, such as sitting on the bench during contests, in the locker room and in the athletic training room. 

v. Plastic shields covering the entire face (or attached to a helmet) shall not be allowed during contests. Their use during practices increases the risk of unintended injury to the person wearing the shield or teammates. 

vi. Coaches, officials and other contest personnel may wear cloth face coverings at all times during Phases 1 through 3. (Artificial noisemakers such as an air horn or a timer system with an alarm can be used to signal in place of a traditional whistle.) 

2. Testing regimens, specific guidelines regarding mass gatherings, and response to a student or team member testing positive for COVID-19 (including contact tracing) are all currently under review, and guidance will come from CDC and state and local health departments. Limited testing availability, lack of resources for contact tracing, and expanding knowledge of the characteristics of COVID-19 transmission could all result in significant changes to the recommendations below. The NFHS SMAC and state association SMACs expect to disseminate this information as it becomes available. 

3. Due to the near certainty of recurrent outbreaks this coming fall and winter in some locales, state associations must be prepared for periodic school closures and the possibility of some teams having to isolate for two to three weeks while in-season. Development of policies is recommended regarding practice and/or competition during temporary school closures, the cancellation of contests during the regular season, and parameters for the cancellation or premature ending to post-season events/competitions. 

4. With the uncertainty of which phase will be attained at the beginning of a sports season or maintained during a season, scheduling contests that require less travel when possible should be considered. Such scheduling will reduce time spent in buses or vans. It will also potentially decrease the need for rescheduling contests as “opening up” may occur regionally. If opponents at the time of a contest are subject to different restrictions, re-scheduling that contest for a later date may be problematic. 

5. The principles presented in this guidance document can be applied to practices, rehearsals, and events for the performing arts with the exception of singing and the playing of wind instruments. The extent of the spread of respiratory droplets during these activities is currently under investigation and further guidance will issued as it becomes available. 

6. “Vulnerable individuals” are defined by CDC as people age 65 years and older and others with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy. 

7. Until a cure, vaccine or very effective treatment is readily available, or so-called “herd immunity” is confidently reached, social distancing and other preventive measures such as face covering will be a “new normal” if workouts, practices and contests are to continue. 

Areas to Address: 

1. Administrative 

A. Preparticipation Physical Evaluation 

Due to concerns regarding access to primary care providers during the late spring and early summer, the NFHS SMAC released a position statement giving guidance to state associations concerning timing of the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation. Options vary from a one-year extension to keeping current requirements. State associations and their SMACs can also consider interim history updates by having students complete a form or having a telemedicine visit with their primary care provider. 

B. Mandatory Education 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of essentially all “in person” educational events. It is recommended that online education courses take the place of “hands on” or in-person training, whenever possible. This includes accepting online training courses for AED/CPR and First Aid for the 2020-21 academic year. 

C. Equipment Reconditioning 

The National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA) has advised the NFHS that significant equipment reconditioning capacity is currently operational. If schools have not sent out equipment for reconditioning, they should be directed to do so immediately. If schools currently have equipment being reconditioned, a school official should contact the reconditioning company to make specific delivery arrangements if their school is currently closed. 

D. Conduct of Conditioning and Practice Sessions 

Phases are in accordance with guidelines published by the White House and CDC available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/. Please consult with your local or state health department regarding their plan for “opening up” your state. Not all states are using the same criteria, and what is allowable during specific phases will vary from state to state, or even within a state. Use the following as a resource in designing a plan for your state. Please note that there will be “gating” criteria to establish Phase 1 and the further criteria must be met to advance from one phase to the next. These criteria will be determined by state and/or local governments and must be strictly followed. 

Phase 1 

Pre- workout Screening: 

• All coaches and students should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a workout. Screening includes a temperature check. 

• Responses to screening questions for each person should be recorded and stored so that there is a record of everyone present in case a student develops COVID-19 (see Appendix II for sample Monitoring Form). 

• Any person with positive symptoms reported should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional. 

• Vulnerable individuals should not oversee or participate in any workouts during Phase 1. 

Limitations on Gatherings: 

• No gathering of more than 10 people at a time (inside or outside). 

• Locker rooms should not be utilized during Phase 1. Students should report to workouts in proper gear and immediately return home to shower at end of the workout. 

• Workouts should be conducted in “pods” of students with the same 5-10 students always working out together. Smaller pods can be utilized for weight training. This ensures more limited exposure if someone develops an infection. 

• There must be a minimum distance of six feet between each individual at all times. If this is not possible indoors, then the maximum number of individuals in the room must be decreased until proper social distancing can occur. 

Facilities Cleaning: 

• Adequate cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases. 

• Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, hard surfaces within that facility should be wiped down and sanitized (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 should be plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place. 

• Weight equipment should 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 should be covered. 

• Students must 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 equipment (towels, clothing, shoes, or sports specific equipment) between students. 

• Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing (do not share clothing) individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout. 

• All athletic equipment, including balls, should be cleaned after each use and prior to the next workout. 

• Individual drills requiring the use of athletic equipment are permissible, but the equipment should be cleaned prior to use by the next individual. 

• Resistance training should be emphasized as body weight, sub-maximal lifts and use of resistance bands. 

• Free weight exercises that require a spotter cannot be conducted while honoring social distancing norms. Safety measures in all forms must be strictly enforced in the weight room. 

• Examples (including by limited to): o A basketball player can shoot with a ball(s), but a team should not practice/pass a single ball among the team where multiple players touch the same ball. o A football player should not participate in team drills with a single ball that will be handed off or passed to other teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed, and there should be no sharing of tackling dummies/donuts/sleds. o A volleyball player should not use a single ball that others touch or hit in any manner. o Softball and baseball players should not share gloves, bats, or throw a single ball that will be tossed among the team. A single player may hit in cages, throw batting practice (with netting as backstop, no catcher). Prior to another athlete using the same balls, they should be collected and cleaned individually. o Wrestlers may skill and drill without touching a teammate. o Cheerleaders may not practice/perform partner stunts or building. (Chants, jumps, dances without contact are permissible.) o Tennis players may do individual drills, wall volleys and serves. o Runners should maintain the recommended six feet of distancing between individuals 

Hydration: 

• All students shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles must not be shared. 

• Hydration stations (water cows, water trough, water fountains, etc.) should not be utilized. 

Phase 2 

Pre-Workout/Contest Screening: 

• All coaches and students should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a workout. Screening includes a temperature check. 

• Responses to screening questions for each person should be recorded and stored so that there is a record of everyone present in case a student develops COVID-19 (see Appendix II for sample Monitoring Form). 

• Any person with positive symptoms reported should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional. 

• Vulnerable individuals should not oversee or participate in any workouts during Phase 2. 

Limitations on Gatherings: 

• No gathering of more than 10 people at a time inside. Up to 50 individuals may gather outdoors for workouts. 

• If locker rooms or meeting rooms are used, there must be a minimum distance of six feet between each individual at all times. 

• Workouts should be conducted in “pods” of students with the same 5-10 students always working out together. Smaller pods can be utilized for weight training. This ensures more limited exposure if someone develops an infection. 

• There must be a minimum distance of six feet between each individual at all times. If this is not possible indoors, then the maximum number of individuals in the room must be decreased until proper social distancing can occur. Appropriate social distancing will need to be maintained on sidelines and benches during practices. Consider using tape or paint as a guide for students and coaches. 

Facilities Cleaning: 

• Adequate cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases. 

• Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, hard surfaces within that facility should be wiped down and sanitized (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 should be plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place. 

• Weight equipment should 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 should be covered. 

• Students must be encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning to home. 

Physical Activity and Athletic Equipment: 

• Lower risk sports practices and competitions may resume (see Potential Infection Risk by Sport below). 

• Modified practices may begin for moderate risk sports. 

• 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. 

• All athletic equipment, including balls, should be cleaned intermittently during practices and contests. 

• Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all contests and practices. 

• Athletic equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear should be cleaned between each use. 

• Maximum lifts should be limited and power cages should be used for squats and bench presses. 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 cows, water trough, water fountains, etc.) should not be utilized. 

Phase 3 

Pre- Workout/Contest Screening: 

• Any person who has had a fever or cold symptoms in the previous 24 hours should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health- care professional. 

• A record should be kept of all individuals present. 

• Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed. 

Limitations on Gatherings: 

• Gathering sizes of up to 50 individuals, indoors or outdoors. 

• When not directly participating in practices or contests, care should be taken to maintain a minimum distance of 3 to 6 feet between each individual. Consider using tape or paint as a guide for students and coaches. 

Facilities Cleaning: 

• Adequate cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases. 

• Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, hard surfaces within that facility should be wiped down and sanitized (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 should be plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place. 

• Weight equipment should 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 should be covered. 

• Students must be encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning to home. 

Physical Activity and Athletic Equipment: 

• Moderate risk sports practices and competitions may begin. 

• 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. 

• Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all contests and practices. 

• Athletic equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear should be cleaned between each use. Other equipment, such as hockey helmets/pads, wrestling ear guards, football helmets/other pads, lacrosse helmets/pads/gloves/eyewear should be worn by only one individual and not shared. 

• Maximum lifts should be limited and power cages should be used for squats and bench presses. Spotters should stand at each end of the bar. 

• Modified* practices may begin for higher risk sports: oContinue pre-practice screening as in Phases 1 and 2. Shower immediately after practices/contests. o Re-assess epidemiology data and experiences in other states and other levels of competition to determine when higher risk sports competition may resume. 

Hydration: 

• All students shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles must not be shared. 

• Hydration stations (water cows, water trough, water fountains, etc.) may be utilized but must be cleaned after every practice/contest. 

E. Contests 

i. Potential Infection Risk by Sport (modified from United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – Sports Medicine recommendations) 

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, boyslacrosse, 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 can’t be cleaned between participants. Examples: Basketball, volleyball*, baseball*, softball*, soccer, water polo, gymnastics* (if equipment can’t be sufficiently cleaned between competitors), ice hockey, field hockey, tennis*, swimming relays, pole vault*, high jump*, long jump*, girls lacrosse, crew with two or more rowers in shell, 7 on 7 football *Could potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of masks by participants 

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, alpine skiing, sideline cheer, single sculling, cross country running (with staggered starts) 

ii. Transportation to events 

Schools must consider social distancing requirements when scheduling contests and events for the fall. Social distancing (as required by state or local health department) will need to be maintained on buses/vans. Thus, multiple buses/vans and/or parental/guardian transportation will likely be needed. 

iii. Social distancing during Contests/Events/Activities 

a. 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. 

b. Who should be allowed at events? Group people into tiersfrom essential to non-essential and decide which tiers will be allowed at an event: 

• Tier 1 (Essential): Athletes, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, security. • Tier 2 (Preferred): Media. • Tier 3 (Non-essential): Spectators, vendors. Only Tier 1 and 2 personnel will be allowed to attend events until state/local health departments lift restrictions on mass gatherings. 

F. Athletic Training Services 

Given the coming financial crisis at the state and local levels, the NFHS SMAC fears that athletic trainer positions will be seen asa “luxury” and those positions will be at risk during the budgeting process. It is also assumed that athletic trainers supplied to high schools by hospitals and sports medicine clinics are also at risk as many medical clinics and hospitals have suffered severe revenue loss during the pandemic. 

Athletic trainers in high schools are positioned to play a vital role as sports return following this pandemic. As health-care professionals, they can take lead roles in developing and implementing infection control policy throughout the school. Whenever needed, state associations and their SMACs should promote the importance of athletic trainers in high schools and their role in injury evaluation, treatment and risk minimization as well as being a vital component of any return-to-school and athletics plan. 

G. Return to Physical Activity 

Current pre-season conditioning and acclimatization models assume that athletes have deconditioned over the summer months. The current pandemic may result in students being deconditioned for four to five months. The NFHS is currently involved with a number of other organizations in developing consensus guidelines for fall sports practices. These guidelines will be sent to state associations immediately after they are finalized and approved by all involved organizations. 

H. Hygienic 

i. Illness reporting 

Create notification process for all event athletes, coaches, event staff, media, spectators and vendors if the organizers/medical personnel learn of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the event. 

ii. Considerations for Officials, Coaches, Other Personnel 

1. Vulnerable individuals should not participate in any practices, conditioning activities, contests or events during Phases 1 and 2. 

2. Masks may be worn, social distancing enforced and “Hygiene Basics” adhered to in all situations. 

CONTINUE TO PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE 

• Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces. 

• Avoid touching your face. 

• Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow. 

• Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible. 

• Strongly consider using face coverings while in public, and particularly when using mass transit. 

PEOPLE WHO FEEL SICK SHOULD STAY HOME 

• Do not go to work or school. 

• Contact and follow the advice of your medical provider. 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS 

1. Wide availability of hand sanitizer at contests and practices. Participants, coaches and officials should clean hands frequently. 

2. Wiping down ball and equipment frequently. 

3. No pre-game and post-game handshakes/high-fives/fist bumps. 

4. Officials and sideline volunteers should be given option to wear face coverings (may use artificial noisemaker in place of whistle).

Martin Methodist tabs Lenoir for volleyball head coach

PULASKI, Tenn. – Martin Methodist Executive Director of Athletics Jeff Bain officially announced the hiring of Jackson Lenoir as Volleyball Head Coach Wednesday afternoon.

Jackson Lenoir (Photo courtesy of Martin Methodist)

Lenoir comes to Martin Methodist with over six years of coaching experience at the collegiate and club levels. Most recently, Lenoir served as interim head coach at NCAA Division II Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. Lenoir spent two seasons with the Bucs as assistant coach before serving as the interim earlier in 2020.

“We are very excited to announce Jackson Lenoir as our new volleyball coach,” Bain said. “We had over 30 candidates apply and Coach Lenoir was our clear choice from the start of the process. Jackson checks off all the boxes that we had set for our goals, which were region and state familiarity, a high visible energy to lead and recruit, a strong volleyball background, and an established history of character and leadership. Jackson is someone who has a unique blend of volleyball success that can also relate to today’s generation. We look forward to helping Jackson launch his head coaching career while giving him the tools that he needs to be successful.”

Prior to his time at CBU, Lenoir served as graduate assistant at NAIA Briar Cliff (Iowa), where he helped coach a total of nine all-conference players between the men and women’s programs. Lenoir also helped coach an AVCA All-American during his time at Briar Cliff.

Lenoir also served as student assistant coach at NAIA Milligan (Tenn.), where he helped guide the women’s volleyball program to its respective conference tournament title match in 2015.

Lenoir has also coached several high-profile club teams, including Midwest Volleyball Power, the premier club team in Sioux City, Iowa.

Lenoir replaces Alison Williams, who resigned last month after she was named head coach at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tennessee.

We look forward to helping Jackson launch his head coaching career while giving him the tools that he needs to be successful.”

Prior to his time at CBU, Lenoir served as graduate assistant at NAIA Briar Cliff (Iowa), where he helped coach a total of nine all-conference players between the men and women’s programs. Lenoir also helped coach an AVCA All-American during his time at Briar Cliff.

Lenoir also served as student assistant coach at NAIA Milligan (Tenn.), where he helped guide the women’s volleyball program to its respective conference tournament title match in 2015.

Lenoir has also coached several high-profile club teams, including Midwest Volleyball Power, the premier club team in Sioux City, Iowa.

Lenoir replaces Alison Williams, who resigned last month after she was named head coach at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Both of Jackson’s parents played at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His father played football and his mother played volleyball and was an All-SEC standout with records still standing today. Jackson’s brother, Bailey, was an All-SOCON selection in football at UT-Chattanooga. Jackson’s sister, Emma, was a member of the Christian Brothers volleyball team, where she holds the school record for kills. In 2019, Emma was the NCAA Division II active career kills leader.

Lenoir received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Milligan College in 2016 and his Master of Arts in Sports Management from Briar Cliff University in 2018. He is currently an MBA candidate at Christian Brothers.

Lenoir is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, but looks forward to relocating to the Pulaski area in the coming months.