After a yearlong hiatus, in-person sports practices have returned to AUSD high schools. An announcement was made on Feb. 26 by California to allow the return of moderate to high contact sports. Although restrictions are loosening, the safety of students and coaches is still a priority. In order to guarantee the health of student-athletes and coaching staff, the district implemented many protective measures that must be abided by in order to continue the practice.
The district released a safety plan that contains a section that outlines 11 points in the return to in-person athletic events, including practicing for and competing in sports. These points must be strictly followed to protect the health of athletes and other personnel present at these events.
With the plan in place, each head coach, with the assistance of the Assistant Principal of Business and Events, will verify the eligibility of each student-athlete who wishes to return to practice. Students will be required to have updated physical forms, proof of medical insurance, and a COVID- 19 release waiver to be eligible for athletic competitions. Students who are ineligible cannot participate in athletic competitions, but however, they are still allowed to go to practice. Each athlete and coach must be at least six feet apart from one another and wear a mask. Equipment is to be sanitized after each use and not to be shared with other groups.
A COVID-19 release waiver has also been released to parents and athletes who wish to return to practice. The waiver outlines the risks of practicing during the pandemic and the commitment that they must make to maintain a safe practice environment, such as maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask at all times.
Athletes that play football must undergo an extra step to return to practice: taking a COVID-19 test that returns negative. Practice for all sports is held from Monday to Friday, 4-6 p.m.