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MHSAA announces track and field rules considerations

The Mississippi High School Athletic Association has released a set of COVID-19 rules considerations for this year’s track and field season.

The rules are subject to change and none are set in stone as of this moment, however, they do serve as an inside look into what rules may end up being implemented when track and field competition begins.

For field events that involve specific “implements” the rules state that athletes should bring their own if possible.

If athletes can’t bring their own “implements,” then the object is expected to be sanitized after each throw.

Social distancing will be recommended for officials and athletes during meets, and competitors won’t be allowed to share vaulting poles.

For sprints and hurdles, athletes can be placed in every other lane to help with spacing, and it’s recommended the athletes wear a face covering while not competing.

There’s also a possible rule consideration regarding the usage of batons in relay races.

Normally gloves are not allowed in relay races, but there is a possibility they will be allowed this year due to COVID-19.

Schools can bring their own batons to meets, and can sanitize them after each use to try and limit the spread of COVID-19 through the touching of shared surfaces.

The rules considerations also state that coaches should consider training their athletes in “pods”.

This would allow the same athletes to train with one another on a consistent basis, so if one were to test positive the possibility of COVID-19 spreading would be limited to just those other athletes in the “pod.”

Accurate records of staff and athletes attending practices and meets are also recommended to enable contact tracing in the case of a positive test.

Lastly, the rules considerations address the importance of parents and other family members having honest conversations with athletes if they start displaying symptoms.

The document states, “Make sure your child and immediate household members are without symptoms of illness before participating in practice and competition (if there is doubt stay home). Provide personal items for your child and clearly label them.”

All rules considerations are subject to change and a more specific list of restrictions will likely be published closer to the start of competition.

The rules considerations for track and field, and other sports can be found at misshsaa.com.