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NCAA recommends guidelines for return to play

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The NCAA has expanded on its guidance for a return to college athletics this fall, providing recommendations to schools about how to safely return to the field.

The NCAA Sport Science Institute has released the Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition. Among the recommendations:

  • Daily self-health checks.
  • The appropriate use of face coverings and social distancing during training, competition and outside of athletics.
  • Testing strategies for all athletics activities, including preseason, regular season and postseason.
  • Testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high contact risk sports.
  • Member schools must adhere to public health standards set by their local communities.   

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

NCAA president Mark Emmert said: “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.”

The ACC will not begin games until at least Sept. 1, a ruling that impacts Olympics sports like cross country, swimming, volleyball and soccer. Schedules for all of those sports have not been released.

FSU football began NCAA-allowed offseason workouts on Monday. The ACC expects that its presidents and chancellors will make a ruling on a football schedule format by the end of July. Among the considerations are playing eight or 10 games against just ACC teams, going division-less and opening up the options for teams to play or going with three five-team pods (which include Notre Dame).

ACC and FSU administrators are also consulting with an advisory committee that includes a doctor from each of the league’s 15 schools.

Portions of this story come from NCAA press release

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