Under new guidelines, high school sports are making a comeback

Updated: Mar. 6, 2021 at 5:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state department of education released new guidelines Friday to safely restart high school sports.

Officials said that high schools that are eligible can ramp up student athletic programming as soon as Monday.

The state said that schools must meet specific criteria in order to start contact sports, workouts and practices.

In order to start athletic workouts and practices on March 8, high schools must have in-person or blended learning and must follow guidelines according to the state’s COVID-19 case average thresholds.

All student athletes must also fill out a daily wellness check-list.

In addition to standard health and safety procedures, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be followed at all times.
  • Pre-workout/practice screenings must take place.
  • Gathering limitations must be in accordance with state and county orders.
  • Adequate cleaning schedules of facilities should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases.
  • Equipment should be wiped down thoroughly before and after use.
  • All students must bring their own water bottle; no hydration stations.

Athletic Director Nolan Tokuda of Leilehua High School said their facilities are ready with cleaning and disinfectant supplies on deck.

“We’re just waiting on the student athletes to get their paperwork in and on our side, just to in-service the coaches, parents and the student athlete,” said Tokuda. “And we’re hopeful that you know, even though Monday would be the first day that we can go, hopefully we’ll be able to go by the 16th or the 22nd of March.”

Competitions remains at the discretion of each island’s respective league association.

“Now, hopefully, we’ll get a decision from the City and County of Honolulu on when parks can reopen, but it seems like everyone is gearing toward the return of sports,” said Executive Director Chris Chun of the Hawaii High School Sports Association. “So, even though it’s March, it’s not too late.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said they submitted a proclamation to the state Friday evening that involves permits for the use of city and county parks.

“And hoping to hear early next week, when we’ll be able to start granting permits, what the timeline would be using our parks, not only just for the DOE in the schools, but even in a broader context for all of the leagues that we have in the state,” said Blangiardi.

“Yeah, that’d be great because that would impact our water polo team if they’ll be able to use the city and county pool because only certain schools have a school pool,” said Tokuda.

For the full guidelines, click here.

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