The University Interscholastic League gave its first sign of working to get Texas high school athletes back on the fields this summer.
After Gov. Greg Abbott eased restrictions on youth summer camps earlier this week, the UIL announced to athletic directors and coaches that they are looking to resume activities early next month.
“The UIL is aware of Gov. Abbott’s May 18 announcement and is actively working with appropriate state officials to allow schools to begin limited summer strength and conditioning and marching band activities on June 8,” the UIL said in a statement on social media. “Once finalized, details will be released to schools.”
Some of those details may be the implementation of new guidelines by the National Federation of State High School Associations to reopen high school athletics across the country.
The guidelines were developed by NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), a 15-member advisory committee composed of medical doctors, certified athletic trainers, high school coaches and officials, research specialists and state high school association executives that regularly develops position statements related to medical aspects of conducting high school athletics.
The guidelines include the recommendation of student-athletes wearing face coverings during the first two stages of workouts, along with screenings for symptoms of COVID-19, which include a temperature check of students and a limit of gatherings of 10 people or fewer.
The NFHS also recommends that locker rooms should not be used during the first phase of workouts, and social distancing must be used.
Also, no sharing of athletic equipment such as shoes, towels between students. They must bring their own equipment, and they must be washed and cleaned after every workout.
Free weight exercises can be done, but not for workouts that rely on a spotter.
In football, the guidelines would not allow team drills with only one ball, and contact with other players would not be allowed, along with sharing of tackling dummies.
Volleyball players are not allowed to use a single ball that other players can touch or hit, according to the guidelines.
Cheerleaders can do individual chants and cheers, but partner stunts would not be allowed.
All students must bring and use their own water bottle and hydration stations should not be used.