Winter 2020-21: Return to Competition

Updated: October 20, 2020

This document should be considered as providing recommendations from the IHSAA for member schools and may be updated before and during the winter 2020-21 season.

People (players, coaches, officials, spectators, etc.) feeling sick or that have been exposed to someone sick, should not attend or participate in competitions or practices. The IHSAA and IGHSAU strongly encourages all participants and spectators to practice social distancing and wear face coverings whenever possible. Local policies may vary, including requiring face coverings for spectators.

Schools are asked to read a public address announcement at the start of each event encouraging social distancing (ex: arm test) and remind spectators to do their part to keep their kids healthy and active.

 
Practices
  • Consider assigning pods of no more than 4-5 to workout with daily, throughout the season, to help with contact tracing
  • Consider taking breaks prior to any 15-minute period in order to sanitize/handwash, social distance. Contact your county health department for advice on this and communicate your plan with your local school administration and school board
  • Consider multiple practices to separate team into smaller groups
  • Consider every other day practices, separated by groups
  • Mandatory cleaning of mats and surfaces before and after every practice or use
  • Reduce the gathering of people outside of practices/competitions, where possible
  • Monitor and securely document daily: symptoms, temperature
  • No shared towels, practice gear, headgear, etc.
  • No shared drinking facilities (provide individual water bottles)
  • Launder practice clothing daily

 

Dual meets
  • Consider single or double duals only (three teams or less)
  • Mandatory cleaning of mats before the start of each dual meet and at the conclusion of the night
  • Consider conducting weigh-ins by team rather than shoulder-to-shoulder by weight
  • Consider conducting weigh-ins with multiple, certified scales
  • Consider conducting weigh-ins in a larger area such as gym, wrestling room, etc.
  • Consider athlete seating as it relates to social distancing. Spread out chairs, where possible. Designate bleacher space to help with social distancing.
  • Verify that all contestants on your team are in good health and showing no symptoms of illness. If not, don’t allow them to travel or compete.
  • Coaches: When asking for a conference with the official at the head table, consider wearing a mask or keeping 6 ft. of social distancing (one or both). Officials will be instructed to maintain social distancing.
  • No team handshakes after meets. Acknowledge opponents from across the mat(s).

 

Tournaments
  • Consider reduction of teams, out-of-state restrictions
  • Mandatory cleaning of mats after each round/session
  • Verify that all contestants on your team are in good health and showing no symptoms of illness. If not, don’t allow them to travel or compete.
  • Communicate effectively with out-of-state teams (A.D. and coach) to be sure they don’t bring any potentially ill competitors, feel safe traveling to your event, and reduce the traveling parties to essential personnel only (competitors and coaches, medical personnel)
  • Consider conducting weigh-ins by team rather than shoulder-to-shoulder by weight
  • Consider conducting weigh-ins with multiple, certified scales
  • Consider conducting weigh-ins in a larger area such as gym, wrestling room, etc.
  • Consider athlete seating as it relates to social distancing. Spread out chairs, where possible. Designate bleacher space to help with social distancing.
  • Coaches: When asking for a conference with the official at the head table, consider wearing a mask or keeping 6 ft. of social distancing (one or both)
  • Consider seating one coach in each corner rather than two (two are allowed)

 

Spectators
  • Social distancing encouraged
  • Schools may require masks of spectators in order to attend
  • Maintain a thankful and respectful disposition toward athletes, coaches, officials, and school personnel and helpers who are making the event possible!

 

Officials
  • Masks strongly suggested when arriving and departing
  • Bring personal hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer used frequently during competitions. Wash hands frequently.
  • Don’t share equipment
  • Change whistle several times during the day (or consider using electronic whistle)
  • Follow social distancing guidelines. Consider six feet minimum distance when talking to others (players, coaches, other officials)
  • Do not shake hands during pre-meet and post-meet ceremony
  • Indicate the winner of the match by raising your own hand indicating the ankle band color as the winner. Cover this procedure during the pre-meet discussion with coaches and athletes.
  • Avoid contact throughout the match, unless absolutely necessary
  • Neutral starts can be modified to maintain social distancing. Be sure to cover this in pre-meet discussions. Be sure to develop a cadence that will keep both wrestlers stationary prior to the start whistle. My suggestion is “Wrestlers stay set!” then blow the whistle. Coaches need to be sure to prepare their wrestlers for this change.
  • Off mat officials are encouraged to wear masks
  • Wear masks on the mat, if desired
  • May wear disposable glove. If so, then they must change after each match
  • Communicate with the host school administration regarding dressing facilities and weigh-in procedures to eliminate confusion and expedite the procedures
  • When being asked for a conference with the coach at the head table, consider wearing a mask or keeping 6 ft. of social distancing (one or both). Coaches have been informed that officials will maintain social distancing.

 

Cheerleaders
  • If cheering, masks will be mandatory
  • Smaller squad sizes, or limited participation at each mat/match
  • Attend dual meets but not tournaments
  • Consider placing a separate “cheer mat” away from the actual wrestling mat for the cheerleaders to cheer from, helping with distancing
  • If spectator attendance is limited, do not have cheerleaders attend
  • Consider travel for cheerleaders being separate from the wrestling team
  • Consider not having cheerleading for wrestling during this season

 

Administration
  • Consider percentage of capacity allowance for spectators
  • Prepare gym/arena for social distancing, where possible
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available at mat side and each scorer’s table
  • Sanitizing wipes available to the computer operators for wiping down periodically and between uses by other workers
  • Writing utensils, when used, handled by one person, or sanitized between uses by other workers
  • Plan and communicate (with teams and officials) effectively in preparation of weigh-in procedures and protocols for each event
  • Use multiple sets of ankle bands and disinfect between matches

 

These considerations are not all-inclusive and can be adjusted as each local school personnel sees fit. School administration and coaches are encouraged to use strong communication with visiting teams, visiting spectators, and game officials in advance of the date of the competition. Utilize all sources of communication to help people be aware of expectations before arriving to your facility. Implementing these precautions does not eliminate the risk of transmitting illnesses. Everyone who attends these events should stay vigilant about their own personal health. Coaches should stay vigilant about the health of their team members and team personnel.

 

 

 

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

 
COVID-19 GENERAL GUIDANCE: WINTER 2020-21
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