NCHSAA clarifies use of pods at skill development sessions

— The N.C. High School Athletic Association still recommends schools use pods at skill development sessions, but will not have a statewide requirement on the size of the pods.

According to an email update sent to member schools on Tuesday morning, the NCHSAA recommends schools use pods at workouts and follow local guidelines to adjust the size of the pods.

Pods are small groups of players who workout with each other each day. This limits the number of athletes exposed to one another, so if one athletes contracts COVID-19, it is easier to conduct contact tracing to determine which athletes may have been exposed to the virus.

Cardinal Gibbons football practice (July 30, 2018)

Since June 15, when the NCHSAA allowed schools to resume workouts, teams and schools have been required to workouts in pods. Initial guidelines from the NCHSAA required the pods consist of the same 5-10 students each day.

Last week, the NCHSAA announced updates to the skill development guidelines. The changes included increasing the number of people allowed at skill development sessions. The outdoor maximum increased from 25 to 50, while the indoor maximum increased from 10 to 25.

Maximums on the number of people attending a skill development session include athletes, coaches, and other staff members.

The NCHSAA previously announced an overhaul to the high school sports schedule this school year, which includes the sports season starting on Nov. 4 with cross country and volleyball. Every sport has seen its calendar change and season shortened, while indoor track has been canceled. Details for the postseason were also released last week.

Football: Myers Park vs Richmond County (Nov. 29, 2019)

According to data from HighSchoolOT, 60 percent of all NCHSAA-member schools have now resumed sports workouts, making up 59 percent of the student population. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the second largest school district in the state, and Cabarrus County Schools resumed workouts on Monday.

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