Fall Sports and COVID-19
July 27, 2020
The Montana High School Association, which governs high school sports play, has issued fall COVID-19 directives. See the documents posted below. These directives will govern how sports contests occur and what will happen in instances where teams are unable to play due to quarantine or illness. The document entitled Tiers - Return to Fall Activities has those details. In addition, MHSA issued sport-specific guidance. Please read those documents for additional details. Here are some of the main takeaways:
- Each team starts out in Tier One status, with play getting more restrictive depending upon the number of health issues in the school or among the team. By Tier 2, nonconference games are canceled. By Tier 3, the conference season gets shortened.
- Schools must enforce the mask requirement for fans; a plan for fans needs to be developed with the county health department. Attendance at MHSA events is dependent on host site and local health department guidelines and restrictions.
- If a school cannot play a game due to quarantine, that will be considered a “no contest” rather than a forfeiture.
- Depending on teams available, postseason formats may be adjusted according to those teams able to participate; team health status will play a part in who makes the postseason
- No music competitions whatsoever – choir and band competitions canceled for the entire school year
- Cheerleaders cannot stunt and are required to wear masks on the sidelines
- Volleyball benches have to practice social distancing and sit 3-6 feet apart. For football, all players must maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times while in the team box, so the team box size has been enlarged so this requirement can be met.
- Cross-country runners have to social distance and wear masks in all the staging areas until they run. After the race, they have to immediately get on the team bus.
- No handshakes before or after any contest
- No jamborees or regular-season tournament play for any sport where multiple teams are gathered together at the same time.
- Lots of cleaning and sanitizing!!