NORFOLK — Basketball and hockey practices began Monday in the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District following Board of Education approval of the district’s winter sports safety plan.
“We’re ready to go. We had a process to go through. We are all cleared. Our board has approved the safety plan. It follows Department of Health guidelines. We’ll be ready to compete when the games start,” Superintendent James Cruikshank said.
The six-page plan has also been approved by Section 10 Executive Director Carl Normandin, the district’s legal counsel and the district’s medical director.
Winter sports are scheduled to begin March 1 and must be finished by March 31.
He said the district’s goal has been to provide opportunities for students outside of the classroom.
“Interscholastic sports is a part of that,” Mr. Cruikshank said.
The district’s safety plan covers activities in school gymnasiums and the Dominic Zappia Arena in Norfolk. It’s broken into sections addressing individual considerations for athletes, officials, game personnel and, when allowed, spectators.
Parents or guardians of athletes participating in a sport will be required to sign the “Section X COVID-19 School Activities Student Permission Form,” which outlines the heightened risks associated with the season. Athletes will also be required to complete the “Section X Athletics Participation Screening Form” before each contest.
Temperature checks are a part of the screening process. Athletes from the home school will be temperature-checked before each practice or game. Athletes from visiting schools will be temperature-checked before leaving their respective schools, as well as when they arrive at the venue for the games.
Any athlete who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past will need to be cleared by the personal physician, the school medical director and the athletic coordinator. Any athlete under quarantine or who exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will not be allowed to participate.
All officials and game personnel will also be required to have their temperatures checked when they arrive at the facility, and will be required to complete the “Section X Athletics Participation Screening Form” or the “Section X Officials Screening Form.”
Officials and game workers will be required to use a separate entrance and exit to the venue, and all of them are required to wear masks at all times.
As part of the “Section X Contest Guidelines Winter 2020-2021,” spectators won’t be permitted in the venues until it’s deemed safe and appropriate. The district’s basketball games will be live-streamed and district officials are working on a plan to try and do the same at the Dominic Zappia Arena.
When they’re allowed into the venue, all fans will be required to wear masks at all times within the facility, stay socially distanced from each other and sit in designated areas. Those entering the school will enter through the elementary lobby, where they will be checked in at the sign-in table using the Spectator Log Form.