NCAA Announces Return to Sports Guidelines

Quierra Luck

The NCAA released a third-installment guideline for all conferences to follow regarding testing and safety precautions for conferences proceeding forth with sports amid a pandemic. 

Lately, it seems the NCAA lacked voice and leadership when uniformity is important; Multiple conferences are making their own decisions resulting in uncertainty and scheduling difficulties among fall college sports. Conferences such as the Ivy League, Patriot League, CIAA, MEAC, SWAC, PSAC, SIAC, Centennial Conference, ECFC, and New England Small College Athletic Conference, have all canceled fall competition. Power 5 conferences such as the SEC and ACC have decided to wait until the end of July before making season-ending determinations. 

For those continuing some form of fall competition, the NCAA has released recommendations for high-risk sports:

  • Daily self-health checks.
  • The appropriate use of face coverings and social distancing during training, competition and outside of athletics.
  • Testing strategies for all athletics activities, including pre-season, regular season and post-season.
  • Testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high contact risk sports.
  • Member schools must adhere to public health standards set by their local communities.

“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” said Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

Stay with AllTarHeels for all your COVID-19 sports information. We’ll update you on progression as it unfolds, as well as all other North Carolina health concerns.

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