NFHS Offers Guidance On Risk Level By Sport

The National Federation of State High School Associations recently set up guidance on how state associations can consider approaching the many components of opening up high school athletics and activities across the United States during the pandemic.

There are different phases and recommendations for practices, transportation and social distancing.

Here are the three levels of risk.

High Risk

Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

Examples: Football, boys lacrosse, wrestling, competitive cheer, dance.

Medium Risk

Sports that involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can’t be cleaned between participants.

Examples: Basketball, volleyball*, baseball*, softball*soccer, water polo, gymnastics* (if equipment can’t be sufficiently cleaned between competitors), ice hockey, field hockey, tennis*, swimming relays, pole vault*, high jump*, long jump*, girls lacrosse, crew with two or more rowers in shell, 7 on 7 football.

*Could potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of masks by participants.

Lower Risk

Sports that can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.

Examples: Individual running events, throwing events (javelin, shot put, discus), individual swimming, golf, weightlifting, alpine skiing, sideline cheer, single sculling, cross country running (with staggered starts).