COMPLETE WITH COVID-19 IN MIND

By William

MCPHERSON – McPherson USD 418 Activities Director Shane Backhus has released their Fall Activity COVID-19 Procedures listings for the fall season activities.

According to Backhus, “As we prepare to open our fall season with practices on August 17, everyone needs to know all our schedules will be very fluid. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to participate safely in their chosen activities.”

Backhus continued by adding, “The fan experience will also look different. While those protocols have not been finalized at this time, they will be released ASAP. We are getting input from the KSHSAA, MCHD, AVCTL, and our partners in shared facilities as we work to develop what those protocols will look like. One thing is certain, the fan experience will look different, there will be safety protocols that must be followed and there will some attendance restrictions.”

Sadly, Backhus did acknowledge that some activities would be cancelled as he stated in his final comments saying, “In order to help ensure competitions can occur, some of our unnecessary activities will be cancelled. This will include in person parent meetings, team meals and other extra team activities. The first two such events that will be cancelled are the ‘Bullpup Fall Preview on August 28, and the Football Jamboree vs. Newton and Valley Center that was scheduled for August 29.”

Backhus did request that if anyone had any questions or other concerns to contact him at McPherson Senior High School.

Here is the McPherson USD 418 Fall Interscholastic Activity COVID-19 Procedures:

McPherson USD 418 students in grades 7-12 who are receiving face-to-face, hybrid, or remote learning that is provided to them by McPherson USD 418 are eligible to participate in activity programs provided they meet all academic and eligibility requirements.

McPherson High School fall activity practices are scheduled to begin on August 17 with the first week of scheduled events beginning on August 24.

McPherson Middle School Fall activity practices are scheduled to begin on August 31 with the first week of scheduled events beginning on September 14.

Questions can be directed to McPherson High School or McPherson Middle School Activities Directors (contact information will be found in this information), or head coaches/directors.

McPherson High School Activities Director is Shane Backhus and he can be reached at shane.backhus@mcpherson.com

McPherson Middle School Activities Director is Inge Exping and she can be reached at inge.esping@mcpherson.com

GUIDELINES FOR EVENT SPECTATORS:

  • To be determined and information released at a later date.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ALL FALL ACTIVITY COACHES & PARTICIPANTS:

  • ANYONE feeling sick should stay home and contact their healthcare provider. Participating while symptomatic could potentially jeopardize the entire activities program in USD 418 and other schools for an extended period of time.
  • Masks/Face coverings are required to be worn at all times by all personnel, including students, except when students are directly participating in the activity.
  • ALL participants and staff will have their temperature taken prior to an activity, anyone with a temperature of 100.4+, or with a known illness, will be excluded pending clearance from a medical professional. Documentation of clearance should be brought to the athletics/activities administrative assistant.
  • ALL participants and staff will apply hand sanititzer prior to and following any activity.
  • Sanitize equipment before and after any usage.
  • Attendance will be taken, and kept on file for all sessions.
  • Students are to leave the building and grounds as quickly as possible after practice/events have ended.
  • Group hydration devices will not be used other than to refill personal water containers. Water bottles should be clearly labeled with participants’ names.
  • Towels will not be shared.
  • Practice clothing should be taken home and laundered daily.
  • Participants should cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, or cough/sneeze into your elbow.
  • Teams and performance groups will maintain common groups as much as possible, spread out for meetings, and minimize full team/group interactions of close proximity.
  • Locker room times will be staggered to avoid large groups entering, dressing, and leaving at one time.
  • Non-essential personnel and visitors will not be allowed at practices.
  • Training room access will be limited to coaches, athletic trainers and managers.

BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, band/orchestra/choir will follow the procedures below:

  • Instruments will have bell covers when possible
  • Appropriate spacing during singing/playing of instruments will be 6’ x 6’ with exceptions of trombones which will be 6’ x 9’ when possible.
  • Rehearsals will be kept in small groups when possible.
  • Multiple rehearsal locations will be used to ensure small groups when possible.
  • Spit valves will be emptied into an appropriate container and discarded after usage.
  • Additions COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

CHEER/DANCE:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, cheer/dance will follow the procedures below:

  • Spacing on the sidelines and during routines should follow social distancing guidelines when possible.
  • Masks will not be worn during stunting.
  • Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

CROSS COUNTRY:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, Cross Country will follow the procedures below:

  • Event staff will wear a mask and limit interactions with athletes at the start/finish lines.
  • Course and start boxes will be marked wider to help with social distancing.
  • Pre/Post competition handshakes will not be followed.
  • Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

DEBATE:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, Debate will follow the procedures below:

  • During competition, judges will wear masks and sit 6’ apart.
  • Virtual tournaments will be considered when possible following KSHSAA and NFHAS guidelines.
  • Sharing of debate materials will be limited.
  • Pre/Post competition handshakes will not be allowed.
  • Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

FOOTBALL:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, Football will follow the procedures below:

  • During events, chain crews will wear face coverings.
  • Any huddle formations will be in rows, not circles.
  • Team boxes for players only will be extended to the 10-yard lines to provide more social distancing.
  • Tooth and mouth protectors should be cleaned after each practice and competition, never shared, and handled as few times as possible with your hands.
  • Pre/Post game handshakes will not occur.
  • Sideline media must wear a face mask and remain outside the extended player boxes.
  • Visitors will not be allowed on the sidelines during games.
  • Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

SOCCER:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, Soccer will follow the procedures below:

  • Athletes will not share pinnies.
  • Pre/Post competition handshakes will not be allowed.
  • Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

TENNIS:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, Tennis will follow the procedures below:

  • During events, players will sit on opposite sides of the court during breaks.
  • Pre/Post match handshakes will not occur.

Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

VOLLEYBALL:

In addition to the general guidelines listed above, Volleyball will follow the procedures below:

  • During events, officials will follow COVID-19 guidelines and score table personnel will be socially distanced when possible and all will wear masks.
  • Teams will provide their own warm-up balls that will not be shared and other COVID-19 supplies.
  • Players and team personnel on the bench should wear masks and social distance when possible.
  • Pre/Post game handshakes will not occur.

Additional COVID-19 procedures for events and spectators will be implemented when necessary.

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