By Jeff Harrison
Mid-Del Schools today announced plans to reopen athletic facilities beginning June 8.
The district’s three-phase plan includes procedures and restrictions aimed at protecting students and staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Temperatures checks, sanitation, cleaning and social distancing policies will be in place during the months of June and July.
“We want to get our students back to their athletics and activities, but we want to do it in a gradual and safe way,” said Andy Collier, director of student activities for Mid-Del.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board last Friday voted down a phased approach to opening athletics. The 7-6 vote allows schools to resume athletics beginning June 1.
Superintendent Rick Cobb and Collier met with other metro school district leaders to discuss plans for reopening. Collier said many school districts are implementing similar phased reopening plans.
“After the OSSAA vote, I went and talked to Dr. (Rick) Cobb about it and we both agreed it would be a bad idea if it became a free for all,” Collier said.
The district’s plan is similar to the phased approach the OSSAA proposed. The district added a provision to allow skills camps that are sanctioned by the OSSAA and removed one that allowed for daily team practices.
“In the OSSAA plan, you had the ability to practice one hour a day, but when that plan was voted down, we had to go back to the OSSAA rules that don’t allow practice,” Collier said.
Coaches will be able to have face-to-face contact with secondary level students at indoor and outdoor facilities using provisions. Sport skills camps that are sanctioned by the OSSAA will be permitted, but not youth camps at this time. Other traditional summer activities such as 7-on-7 football, summer baseball, basketball leagues and team camps will not permitted.
Phase One – June 8 -29
Temperatures will be taken daily for everyone at school facilities. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees must leave and cannot return until 72 hours of being fever free.
Everyone must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before entering and leaving the facility. Equipment, locker rooms and restrooms (if open) must be cleaned daily. No one is permitted to share water bottles, towels, gloves or other personal equipment. Social distancing of 6 feet will be enforced.
In the weight room, no more than three people can be on any piece of equipment, and spotters must wear a mask or cloth covering. All groups must be at least 6 feet apart.
No open gym will be allowed.
Marching band and all fine arts must follow the same guidelines. All tryouts for fall sports, including cheer and pom, must take place in a small organized setting and be closed to the public.
Phase Two – June 29-July 31
The district will reconsider allowing youth camps. On July 15, fast-pitch softball, volleyball, cross country and marching band can begin unrestricted practices. Cheer and pom, which are year-round sports, can also resume practice. All sports must continue to follow the safety guidelines and OSSAA guidelines.
Phase 3 – Aug. 1
Winter sports can hold tryouts, and practice may continue for fall sports according to OSSAA guidelines.
The OSSAA has not yet made any decisions on policies the fall sports season which are set to begin in August.
For more information about the Mid-Del summer activities plan, visit www.mid-del.net/activities-athletics-during-covid-19