Fall 2020: Return to Competition

August 11 Webinar with Coaches and Athletic Directors

Updated: July 29, 2020

This document should be considered as providing recommendations from the IHSAA for member schools and may be updated before and during the fall 2020 season.


General Considerations
  • No hugging, shaking hands, or fist bumps.
  • Cross country meets may consider using staggered, wave or interval starts. Note at the current time the state qualifying meet and state meet will be using the traditional mass start.   Consideration should be given to the format of the meet, including having different levels run on different nights.
  • Possible Rule Modifications:
    • 8-1-3a: Consider widening the course to at least 6 feet at its narrowest point.
  • Consider widening the starting grids including skipping boxes at the starting line.
  • Finish:
    • Consider using finish corrals and FAT timing for larger meets as easier to distance at finish.
    • With no FAT timing system consider alternative means of finish place and time to address congestion at finish line. An example includes writing down the bib numbers of finishers rather than tearing bibs.
    • Consider using image-based equipment at finish to assist with picking place to avoid congestion.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and exercise equipment.
  • Pre- and Post-Event Ceremony: Establish cross country specific social distancing meet protocols including the elimination of handshakes before and after the meet.


Considerations for Coaches:
  • Communicate your guidelines in a clear manner to students and parents.
  • Consider conducting workouts in “pods” of same students always training and rotating together in practice to ensure more limited exposure if someone develops an infection.
  • Keep accurate records of those athletes and staff who attend each practice in case contact tracing is needed.
  • Team Camp Considerations – Social distancing from other teams as much as possible is strongly recommended. Coaches should consider the number of individuals within the camp.  Also, the size of the tents including whether to include the sides of the tent should also be considered.


Considerations for Students:
  • Consider making each student responsible for their own supplies.
  • Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing. Individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout immediately upon returning home.
  • Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all contests and practices.
  • Athletes should tell coaches immediately when they are not feeling well.
  • Cloth face coverings are permitted.
  • Bring your own water bottle.
  • Start Protocols: Student-athletes should have individual bags and locations for sweats – no mass piling of team clothing.
  • Finish Protocols: Student-athletes should remain upright and walk through the chute with the understanding that there will be times that a participant may need medical attention.


Considerations for Officials:
  • Bring personal hand sanitizer. Wash hands frequently.
  • Don’t share equipment.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines:
    • Pre- and Post-Meet conferences
    • Clerking at the start line
    • Tabulations and posting of results
  • Consider using electronic whistle
  • Do not shake hands and follow pre- and post-event ceremony guidelines established by state associations.
  • Officials personnel are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings at all times.


Considerations for Administration:
  • Facility Sanitization: Consideration should be given to which facilities are going to need sanitization, how often will sanitization be needed, who will be doing the sanitizing
  • Awards Ceremonies: Consideration for options that would allow social distancing for the athletes, coaches, and spectators – consider other alternatives such as not having awards ceremonies, strongly recommending the use of cloth face coverings for any individuals attending the awards ceremonies if there are alternative options
  • Postseason: Potential options may be considered regarding the state qualifying meets and state meet depending upon the status of COVID-19
  • Limit the outside food brought in by teams/spectators.
  • Admission may be taken using safe practices or a free-will donation container is an option as well.
  • The Department of Education’s transportation guidelines should be followed when travelling as a team. Click here to view transportation guidance
  • Consider establishing a team-based approach to a develop a written management protocol for any COVID-19 related issues, including exposure and testing outcomes.  Contact local county public health officials for their participation, involve school nurse and/or medical personnel, certified athletic trainers and/or counselors.


For COVID-19 related information on all IHSAA fall activities, please visit: