The NYSDOH has determined that track & field is a low-risk sport (greatest ability to maintain physical distance and/or be performed individually; greatest ability to (1) avoid touching of shared equipment, (2) clean and disinfect any equipment between uses by different individuals, or (3) not use shared equipment at all).
• Weight Throw and Shot Put should enforce social distancing for all athletes and officials.
- To limit contact, athletes can provide their own implements (that pass inspection) and retrieve their own implements after all throws.
- If athletes can’t provide their own implements, then it is recommended that implements be sanitized between each use.
- Long Jump and Triple Jump should enforce social distancing for all athletes and officials.
• High Jump and Pole Vault should enforce social distancing for all athletes and officials.
- To lower the risk of these events, pits may be covered by a tarp that is removed and disinfected after each athlete use (therefore multiple tarps needed to keep event moving) or individuals may bring their own mat or tarp for use on pits.
- To limit contact, athletes should not share vaulting poles.
• Sprint, Hurdle, Relay Events run entirely in lanes, may use every other lane to assist with distancing.
- Blocks should be disinfected after each heat / race.
- Baskets are not recommended at start line for apparel.
• Rule 5-10-5 Current rule: The baton is the implement which is used in a relay race and is handed by each competitor to a succeeding teammate. Gloves are not permitted in relay events.
- NYSPHSAA has elected to permit the use of sanitary gloves for this year (2020-21). (waiver of NFHS Rule approved by NYSPHSAA Officers 11-16-20)
- It is recommended that schools bring and use their own batons, and not share with other schools.
- Rules 6-4-11 and 6-5-24: Vertical jumpers may complete all three of their jumps consecutively with three (3) minutes being permitted for each jump. (waiver of NFHS Rule approved by NYSPHSAA Officers 11-16-20)
Considerations for Officials:
- Officials are responsible for meet management, which does not include monitoring activities in the facility such as social distancing, face coverings, hand washing, symptoms of illnesses and other such issues. This monitoring obligation remains with the responsible parties.
- Bring personal hand sanitizer. Wash hands frequently.
- Do not share equipment.
- Follow social distancing guidelines:
- Clerking at the start line.
- Tabulations and posting of results.
- Consider using electronic whistle.
- Do not shake hands and follow pre-and post-game ceremony guidelines established by state associations.
Considerations for Coaches:
- Communicate your guidelines in a clear manner to students and parents.
- Consider conducting workouts in “pods” of same students always training and rotating together in practice to ensure more limited exposure if someone develops an infection.
- Keep accurate records of those athletes and staff who attend each practice in case contact tracing is needed.
Considerations for Students:
- Consider making each student responsible for their own supplies
- Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing (do not share clothing), and individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout immediately upon returning home.
- Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all contests and practices.
- Bring your own labeled water bottle.
Considerations for Parents:
- Make sure your child and immediate household members are without symptoms of from illness before participating in practice and competition (if there is doubt stay home),
- Provide personal items for your child and clearly label them.
- Spectators should not congregate around the competition areas.
VIRTUAL INDOOR TRACK & FIELD COMPETITION
The NYSPHSAA rules which govern high school indoor track and field competition assume that such competition will be “head-to-head” with all participants engaging in an environment that is identical and thus equitable to all. “Virtual” competition cannot provide such identical conditions, however. With that understanding, there are no NYSPHSAA rules provisions that would prohibit “virtual” competition when unique conditions, such as a pandemic, necessitate its use. The following practices and suggestions are a compilation of guidance from the NYSPHSAA to aide member schools in overseeing “virtual” competition.
- Virtual competition shall be conducted only for regular season. Sections may determine if they would like to conduct a virtual section postseason event.
- Competition for each team/school involved should take place at venues of similar nature with similar specifications for each event with special emphasis on risk minimization. Surfaces and surrounding conditions are recommended to be similar.
- The meet must be conducted under the supervision of at least one certified NFHS or state association registered official at each venue.
- All rules regarding athlete participation and conduct should apply; technical rules for competition shall be enforced. Entries shall follow all NFHS rules for each event.
- It is suggested but not required that schools use an applicable technology to record results of each event and also have the capacity to compare against their opponents’ results. The same application is recommended to be used by each school for a virtual dual meet. Suggested applications for virtual meets include, but are not limited to, Hytek, MileSplit, Athletic.net.
- Schools shall communicate with their virtual opponent, in advance, the timing methods, venue, event specifications, entries and other details associated with a track meet so both schools ensure equity for the competition.
- It is recommended but not required to have schools compete virtually on the same day.
- Sections may determine if times and marks achieved during virtual competition qualify for a sectional or state qualifier meet. A league will decide if a virtual competition can be used to determine a league champion.
- Sections which can only conduct virtual meets during the regular season and do not have the ability to conduct a sectional or state qualifier meet may use virtual meet marks and times to qualify for the State Tournament or postseason event.