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NFHS Releases Guidelines for Return to High School Athletics and Activities

Rules • May 19, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (May 19, 2020) – The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) released a guidance for opening up high school athletics and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this guidance, NFHS goes through a three-phased approach for returning to activities. The SMAC of the NFHS advocates that each state high school association follow and consult with its state and local health departments for determining the appropriate dates for implementing a phased-in approach from COVID-19. Decreasing potential exposure to respiratory droplets is the basis of the stratification of risk by sport in this document.

Some of the key points in the guidance from NFHS:

  • Plastic shields covering the entire face (or attached to a helmet) are not allowed during contests. 
  • Recommend cloth face coverings be worn by students during phases 1 and 2 except during high intensity aerobic activity. Encourage to still use cloth face coverings in phase 3.
  • Officials can use artificial noisemakers or timers in place of whistles to allow for use of cloth face coverings during competitions. 
  • The NFHS recommends sending out equipment for reconditioning immediately.
  • Each sport is categorized into different levels of potential infection risk: Higher Risk, Moderate Risk and Lower Risk.
  • Sample monitoring form for checking symptoms before practices and competitions.
  • Emphasized the importance of keeping on athletic trainers as staff and having them assist with any return to school or return to play plans.

Click here to view the Guidance For Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities.