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NCAA releases new return-to-play guidelines

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: July 17, 2020

Two conferences in Division I have already postponed or cancelled seasons. Several more are slated to feature conference-only matchups should a fall 2020 campaign take place.

The NCAA has released an updated set of guidelines for a possible return to play at the college level.

Among the recommendations include daily self-health checks, the use of face coverings during training, competition and outside athletics, a comprehensive testing plan for high contact risk sports and member schools adhering to public health standards set by local government.

“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer, said in a statement. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

For more formation on the NCAA response to the pandemic, visit ncaa.org/covid-19.

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