The primary thought on every student-athlete’s mind the last two months has been when high school sports will return. The Cobb Schools Athletic Department is now beginning to form an answer to that question.
Based on guidance from Governor Brian Kemp’s statements, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) has issued guidelines to allow training and conditioning to begin starting June 8. GHSA’s guidelines are then enacted by each Georgia school district as they see fit.
“We are optimistic, but we also need to be very careful as we allow athletes to train over the summer months,” said Don Baker, Cobb Schools Director of Athletics. “We can’t allow our zeal to return to normal to endanger anyone’s health and safety.”
Baker said training activities can return on June 15 for Fall sports only within the Cobb County School District (CCSD), but only under very controlled conditions. “These activities will consist of weight-training and conditioning only,” he said. “All workouts are 100% voluntary. I can’t stress that enough. We are not mandating that anyone must return for these workouts.”
GHSA’s guidelines, based on the most current information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health, allow for groups of twenty to be involved in conditioning activities at a time in the same facility.
“We will follow these guidance and recommendations from GHSA and the CDC during our group activities as well as our cleaning and sanitizing procedures,” Baker said. “Each school principal, athletic director, and coach will receive a packet of detailed information.”
To limit the spread of germs, water fountains and locker rooms will be strictly off-limits. All participating athletes and coaches will be required to have their temperature checked and will be asked to answer COVID-19 exposure questions.
Students will also not be allowed to participate in any training activities unless they have water in hand at the time of check-in each day. At least one gallon is recommended.
As with everything else during this unusual period of time in our country, these guidelines will continue to evolve and change as more information becomes available.
“The safety and health of our students, and in this case coaches, is always the first priority,” Chief of Staff Kevin Daniel said. “Above all else, our Board and Superintendent make it clear: safety is the first step with any of our decisions. Delaying our return until June 15th gives us time to develop a clear, consistent, and safe plan district-wide.”