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NCAA Releases Third Installment Of Return-To-Sport Guidelines

The NCAA has released its third installment of return-to-sport guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The third installment is meant to update and supplement the first and second publications released by the NCAA.

“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,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “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.”

Some of the guidelines include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 postseason
  • Testing and results within 72 hours of competition in 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 NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

The recommendations listed above were developed with input from multiple different sources, including the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The spread of the coronavirus is a “significant concern” in the college sports environment, according to the publication. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 will often carry the virus and have the ability to spread it despite being asymptomatic.

For individuals who test positive but are asymptomatic, it is recommended that they isolate themselves for 10 days following the positive test. Those who are symptomatic should remain in isolation for at least 72 hours after the symptoms go away and for at least 10 days following the first sign of symptoms.

For football, specifically, face shields have been developed for helmets that will be able to attach to the face mask. The face shield would serve as an alternative to masks/face coverings.

The full report by the NCAA Sports Science Institute can be found here.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

After a four-year career with Onward State, Gabe is now a college graduate and off to the real world. He shockingly served as the blog’s managing editor during the 2022-23 school year and covered football for much of his Onward State tenure, including trips to the Outback Bowl and Rose Bowl. For any professional inquiries, please email Gabe at [email protected]. You can still see his bad sports takes on Twitter at @gabeangieri.

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