Montgomery County student-athletes can resume in-person practices on Feb. 27, the district announced Friday, but each team’s coach will have the authority to decide to continue with only virtual activities.
Competitions can begin March 19.
The fall season will be first, and run for about six weeks.
Fall sports include bocce, cheerleading, cross- country, field hockey, football, golf, pompons, soccer and girls’ volleyball.
Competitions will only be scheduled against other teams in the county.
Schools are split into three divisions, with two “pods” of four or five teams per division to minimize students’ exposure to others. Teams will play all of the teams in their “pod” as part of the season, then others in the same division, if needed to fill out a competition schedule.
No scrimmages will be allowed. Spectators will not be allowed at competitions, according to MCPS documents.
All students are eligible for sports for the remainder of the academic year regardless of their grades or attendance. Students can participate in in-person sports, even if they have elected to continue with virtual classes when schools begin to reopen on March 1.
Student-athletes are allowed to remove face coverings when they are doing “vigorous activity,” but coverings are “strongly encouraged at all times.” Coaches and other officials are required to wear face coverings at all times.
Locker rooms will not be available to students, and students will be required to bring their own water to practices and competitions.
If a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, people who had direct contact with them will be notified in writing, and the “activity group of the infected student or participant will be quarantined.” If the sick student participated in a competition against another team, that team will also be “shut down until granted clearance by MCPS, through collaboration with” the health department.
If transmission of the virus is directly traced to participation or competition in a sport, that sport will be temporarily suspended countywide pending review by the district and the health department.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org