To promote fair competition and the health and safety of everyone involved, it is vital that school administrators and coaches are familiar with the information below and are purposeful in their application of the guidelines and requirements noted. Continued function of our schools' academic and athletic programs will take the combined, mindful efforts of everyone involved.
Bookmark this page and return often as additional information is added in anticipation of the scheduled start of the competition for the 2020-21 school year.
Student-Athlete Participation Requirements
A pre-participation physical must be filed with the school office prior to a student-athlete participating in an official day of practice. Physicals performed on or after April 15, 2020 meet the requirement for the 2020-21 school year.
The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine suggests that student-athletes complete a COVID-19 questionnaire, not only before returning to sports participation at the beginning of the season but after any positive COVID-19 test. Any positive response should trigger an evaluation by a medical provider. The four questions and supporting information for student-athletes that have tested positive can be found at the website for the journal Sports Health.
Preseason and Practice
Demonstrating care and concern for reducing the spread of COVID-19 outside of competition will lower the likelihood that inter-school competition will be impacted by virus-related cancellations.
All coaches and administrators should view the free online course on NFHSLearn.com entitled, "COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators." The course discusses what coaches and administrators can do to limit the spread of COVID-19, including practicing hygiene and cleaning, social distancing when possible, and the importance of recording who is at each workout, practice and game to track exposure.
The practice guidelines below are meant to supplement the existing TSSAA sport regulations and sport calendars, as well as any guidelines established by your Local Educational Authority.
- Scrimmages and/or practicing with another team are not allowed.
- Teams and players must follow local mandates and the rules of the facility regarding social
distancing and cleaning protocols.
- Schools are expected to substantially maintain social distancing between players, coaches and
- If a local mandate is absent, schools are encouraged to adopt the Tennessee Guidelines for
Competition Regulations and Rules Modifications
The Board of Control has adopted a series of regulations affecting all sports to keep students, school staff and spectators safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These regulations and guidelines are in effect immediately for all sports.
Emergency preparedness is a key element in returning to participation. NFHS has recently released another free course entitled "The Collapsed Athlete." The course will teach staff members the importance of developing Emergency Action Plans and practicing them, including assigning responsibilities to team members.