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NCAA releases new return-to-sport guidelines

The NCAA has issued new guidance for student-athletes returning to play, including testing for “high contact risk sports.”
The NCAA has issued new guidance for student-athletes returning to play, including testing for “high contact risk sports.”(KCRG)
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 3:40 PM CDT
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(WIBW) - The NCAA has issued new guidance for student-athletes returning to play, including testing for “high contact risk sports.”

“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” said Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

Among the recommendations:

  • Daily self-health checks
  • The appropriate use of face coverings and social distancing during training, competition and outside of athletics
  • Testing strategies for all athletics activities, including pre-season, regular season and post-season
  • Testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high contact risk sports

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

The NCAA classifies sports as the following:

  • Low contact risk: bowling, diving, equestrian, fencing, golf, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, track and field
  • Medium contact risk: acrobatics and tumbling, baseball, beach volleyball, cross country*, gymnastics, softball, triathlon*
  • High contact risk: basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, rugby, soccer, squash, volleyball, water polo, wrestling

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