When the state of Iowa became the first in the nation to announce the resumption of high school summer sports, the news may have been met with excitement from student-athletes and parents. Not only does it provide high school seniors a last chance to participate in athletic activities, but for parents and the community, it can signal the first of many steps in a return to normalcy.
For school officials and athletic directors, it signaled the beginning of a mad scramble to get their facilities and teams ready for the first pitches of the season, while also taking extra steps to assure the health and safety of all involved.
Cascade High School Athletic Director Adam Kedley has been putting in extra innings when it comes to preseason preparation and is in charge of making sure all systems are “go” when it comes to the Cougars.
Kedley said the state athletic associations have provided guidelines for distancing when it comes to fans, players and coaches, and, along with adhering to the guidelines, parents and players have signed waivers to play or practice.
“I have talked with our coaches daily to update and inform them on guidelines,” Kedley said. “We also met with all softball and baseball teams, along with parents of the players. In those meetings, all guidelines, restrictions and exceptions that the state and district handed down were discussed.”
While coaches will be taking players’ temperatures, it is expected of all parties involved to take their temperature to make sure they are below 100.3, and make sure they have no symptoms. “Our coaches must take attendance daily and track whether each player has a temperature and/or symptoms, by asking them if they have a temperature and are they feeling any symptoms,” Kedley explained. “Those results are reported to me daily. We are trusting the players and parents to be responsible and honest with us. I am confident in our kids and community that they will be.”
He has been fastidious about implementing all guidelines, but Kedley admits to some trepidation about doing so. “I still have mixed emotions. I’m happy that our kids get the chance to return to somewhat normalcy and find a routine, and I’m happy for our seniors who have missed so much. However, I am unsure and being careful to try to keep everyone safe as we go into this uncharted territory. There is a lot of unknown about how this will progress and we are taking it day by day together.”
And Kedley said changes to the process may be ongoing. “There seem to be updates and clarifications that happen weekly. Depending on data and how things go, I would be expecting changes from the state unions.”
General Guidelines of Parent/Athlete Meeting
• Each participant who comes to practice and games has a temperature less than 100.3, has not been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days and is symptom-free.
• Take your temperature before you leave for practice; if over 100.3 or have symptoms stay home and tell your coach. You must be fever free for 24 hours before returning.
• Every day one of the coaches will be taking attendance, asking for symptoms, and if you have a temperature.
• Six feet of spacing is a priority in practice.
• No dugouts in practice and try to use your own equipment.
• Bring sanitizer if you can.
• All equipment that is shared will be wiped down before and after practice.
• No concessions at any school.
• Players can ride to and from the game with parents.
• Facemasks are not required by CHS, but can be worn. Other schools may require them.
• The school waiver must be signed and initialed by parents and players before playing.
• Admission will not be charged at CHS, but it will vary at other schools.