Updated June 12th, 2020
On Friday, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) released an activity guidelines update. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were included as individual states loosen COVID-19 restrictions.
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The Coronavirus pandemic brought high school sports cancellations nationwide. Coaches, players, and schools are all eager to know when high school athletics can resume.
The individual State Associations will provide those answers. Some have provided updates, while others have yet to provide an update since cancellation.
Continue reading to see the latest updates from the NFHS on the status of high school sports.
A Brief Word on COVID-19 and Civil Justice
At BatSmash, we have deep sympathy for families who have been impacted by this pandemic. We have been ourselves.
Additionally, we sympathize with the African American community in light of the George Floyd police murder. It goes without saying how the impact black baseball players, from Jackie Robinson to Barry Bonds, have had on the game.
Our passion for baseball (not just reviewing the latest BBCOR baseball bats.. although, we love to) will always be here. We do have to take the time to stand up for what’s right.
Nonetheless, we simply miss baseball. We feel for those seniors who missed their final high school baseball season, the college baseball player who missed scouting time, and the thousands of Little League ballplayers who missed their season.
The team has followed state-by-state news on high school baseball programs since the pandemic began. Here are the latest COVID-19 NFHS guidelines.
The Latest NFHS Guidelines
The Status of State Association Activity Restriction was updated on June 12, 2020. Find the high school athletics COVID-19 updates for your state by clicking on the state below.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
State Association – Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA)
Latest Updates on Guidelines
Member schools may re-open June 1, in accordance with Alabama State Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Eric Massey’s directive announced Thursday.
“The AHSAA, its Central Board of Control, along with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), has updated its guidelines regarding summer activities,” Savarese said. “The biggest change is our schools may re-open on June 1, a week earlier than the June 8 date previously discussed. We are elated to have a definite date for our coaches and student-athletes to return to their schools where they can continue to experience valuable educational lessons through athletics.
State Association: ASAA
Latest Updates on Guidelines
The ASAA “out of season” contact and “open facility” policies will go into effect on June 1, 2020. However, coaches must have the approval of their school district and operate any activities in accordance with all local and state health mandates.
All sports are now considered out of season. All out of season rules in the handbook must be followed.
All 10 sections are working on contingency plans considering every possibility.
The Colorado High School Activities Association has convened a specialized task force to discuss the return of athletics and activities. The CHSAA Resocialization Task Force will begin meeting in June. The purpose of the task force is to explore the many options on if, when, or how, activities and athletics can resume for Colorado high schools. In-person conditioning sessions may resume on June 1.
Virtual coaching will be allowed for spring sports coaches through May 31, 2020. Starting June 1, all coaches will be permitted to have virtual contact, which includes skill instruction and conditioning, until August 17, 2020.
No update since April 20.
The GHSA Board of Trustees voted late Thursday afternoon that football-related activities can restart June 8. The Georgia High School Association will open up conditioning for its member schools on June 8, 2020. The plan is restrictive and provides for conditioning only. As the data related to COVID-19 continues to improve, restrictions may be reduced after input from our health care professionals and guidance from our Governor. Please make every effort to follow the recommendations and restrictions included in the guidance provided.
No update since canceling on April 17.
No update but offered guidelines for schools for opening during Phase 2 of the state’s plan.
An IHSA member high school may not conduct workouts under the Return to Play Guidelines unless they have local school district approval, and are located in a Health Region that is currently in Phase 3 (or better) under the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan. Any school within a Phase 3 Region of the state could begin to implement the Return to Play Guidelines on June 6.
Indiana – Effective July 6, Indiana will begin phase one of its re-entry considerations for extra-curricular and co-curricular athletics and activities. At that time, student-athletes are limited to 15 total hours of school contact per calendar week. All summer activity is voluntary. Phase one concludes on July 19.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that summer athletic seasons may be conducted for high school baseball and softball following a two-month activity suspension due to COVID-19. The announcement approved the reopening of school facilities and the start of practices for Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and Iowa High School Athletic Association-sanctioned summer sports starting on Monday, June 1. Per the Iowa Department of Education, first contests may occur as early as Monday, June 15 and fans will be permitted at games. The IGHSAU Board of Directors and IHSAA Board of Control met after the announcement and both groups voted to approve resuming the 2020 summer seasons under the Iowa Department of Education guidelines.
Executive Order 20-32 on May 14 establishing Phase 1.5 to the Ad Astra Plan for Reopening Kansas does NOT impact the KSHSAA Summer Guidelines which begin on JUNE 1. The KSHSAA will continue to monitor any future government orders related to COVID-19 to ascertain if and how they impact the KSHSAA Summer Guidelines. Any changes/revisions will be communicated to member schools.
Beginning June 1, coaches can begin organizing with their players in groups of fewer than 10 in accordance with state social-distancing guidelines. These are informational meetings only with no athletic activity. Beginning June 15, coaches in all sports can begin having workouts of fewer than 10 people. Beginning June 29, all sports can begin practices with up to 50 present while still subdivided into groups of 10 players
After successful completion of Phase I determined by local and state government officials, LHSAA Summer Rules for all sports of all LHSAA Member Schools will go into effect on Monday, June 8.
At the May 7 meeting, the MPA Interscholastic Management Committee voted to allow in-person instruction for summer activity starting on July 6, aligning with recommendations from government officials.
No update since cancelling on April 28.
Summer activity is not regulated by the MIAA. At this time Governor Baker has established phases that businesses and organizations should rely upon when evaluating reopening. Open gym and weightlifting are an individual school district decision based upon Massachusetts state directives and Governor Baker’s phase-in plans.
As noted in the June 2 MHSAA update, member schools may begin summer activities at school facilities as long as these two conditions are met: 1. School administration has announced school facilities are open to students and staff, and 2. The academic school year (last day of online instruction/exams) has ended.
The Minnesota State High School League approved a June 15 starting date for summer training by coaches and athletes. Students participate in summer activity outside of the school on the conditions of the waiver.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association decided May 21 to let teams resume athletic activities starting June 1, pending Gov. Tate Reeves’ upcoming announcement on when school facilities can reopen. However, teams will not be allowed to compete against each other this summer. When they return to work in June, teams must follow any orders handed down by state and local government as well as their school regarding COVID-19 precautions.
On Friday, April 17, the MSHSAA Board voted to make both its summer dead period and summer limits on contact optional for 2020, though any activities would first need to be approved by local, state and national health officials.
June 1 – July 31 – current MHSA rule summer rules will be in effect. Local districts will determine the use and access to their facilities and it is up to the local school and coaches to follow any health requirements in place during this time for MHSA practices or one-on-one contests allowed by the current rule.
The Nebraska School Activities Association is allowing high schools to hold open gyms for basketball, football, soccer and wrestling with some restrictions. Beginning June 18, the NSAA will let high schools participate in camps, clinics and summer leagues in all sanctioned activities except basketball, football, soccer and wrestling.
School athletic fields and facilities can re-open, per a directive from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on June 9. And while games are OK to be played, the public is still not allowed to watch those games until restrictions are further eased. School districts and governing entities of charter and private schools control athletic fields and facilities and will make the final determination on when they can re-open.
No update since cancelling in April.
The NJSIAA is forming a task force that has been charged with a return-to-play plan for fall sports. The goal of the task force is to identify and implement both general and sports-specific modifications that will be required by NJSIAA member schools. In the short-term, efforts will be focused on returning the fall athletes to their sports for the 2020 season.
New Mexico – No organized workouts until at least May 28.
The NYSPHSAA is convening a COVID-19 Task Force to examine potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the Fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year. It will meet June 10.
The NCHSAA board of directors announced the end of its three-month period of activity on June 15. Athletics and activities can then resume on a limited basis under strict safety guidelines implemented by the NCHSAA and local school districts. During the the first phase of the return to activity, schools are expected to address several health safety procedures. Those include establishing cleaning schedules for all areas used having hand sanitizer readily available, having athletes shower at home, and limitations on gatherings to 90 minutes and no more than 25 people outside or 10 inside, while continuing to practice social distancing.
No update since cancelling.
OHSAA’s mandatory dead period —which has been in effect since March 16 and extended twice since —is being lifted effective on May 26 for six sports which have been designated as “non-contact” or “low-contact”. They include baseball, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and golf.
The OSSAA Board of Directors met in a special meeting May 22 to discuss summertime activities. The Board voted to conduct summertime activities in accordance with current Rules and Policies as stated in the Administrators Handbook.
The Oregon Schools Activities Association informed schools that beginning May 26, the day after the end of the state association’s calendar year, each school will control what athletics take place at school facilities. Originally, schools were closed through June 30 by a directive from the Oregon Department of Education. So at the school’s discretion, athletics may resume, depending on where the school is located. Schools must follow the governor and health authority’s guidances as the state enacts its phased plan across all counties. (May 22)
PIAA remains hopeful that summer activities will be able to commence July 1.
No update since cancelling.
The South Carolina High School League will follow the lead of Gov. Henry McMaster and allow workouts as early as June 1
South Dakota –
The board announced a three-phased plan to help return athletes to their summer workouts. The June 1 start date for summer activities is to help athletes get in shape before the fall season begins. Based on NFHS recommendations, a three-phase plan would begin on June 1st with no more than 10 people indoors or outdoors during drills and practices. Moving into other phases and allowing more people would be based on whether the flat or decreasing the number of documented COVID-19 cases over 14-day periods.
In a meeting on June 5, the TSSAA Legislative Council failed to pass a motion to eliminate its high school dead period which takes place June 22 to July 5. Consequently, athletics and activities will not be allowed to meet once again until at least July 6. A definitive date to return for summer activity has yet to be established by the TSSAA.
The University Interscholastic League is working with state officials to allow Texas high schools to begin limited athletic workouts and marching band activities in June.
The UHSAA remains optimistic that fall sports will commence as scheduled, but is still too early to reach any decisions or offer guidance at this time.
No update since cancelling.
Currently, Virginia remains in Phase 1 of Governor Northam’s plan to reopen schools, meaning athletic and extracurricular activities held through schools are not permitted yet. Official offseason and summer workouts are still on hold, even though students are now permitted to perform certain activities on their own under Virginia’s guidelines. According to Northam’s plan, sports and extracurricular activities can resume once schools enter Phase 3, but with “some mitigation measures.”
Washington – No update since canceling.
West Virginia –
WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan announced a three-step plan that will allow summer activity to begin on June 8. Phase on, which spans from June 8-19, allows athletes in pods of 10 or fewer to meet with coaches outdoors for one hour per day. During phase two (June 22 to July 3), up to 25 student-athletes will be allowed to participate as part of indoor and outdoor practices. Outdoor practices remain recommended when possible. Practices during phase two may take place for up to two hours. During phases one and two, no sport-specific activities are permitted. Meetings during these phases must focus on conditioning, strength training and agility. The plan’s third phase encompasses the three-week practice period, which is designated by individual counties.
No update since canceling.
No update since canceling.
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leader and advocate for high school athletics as well as fine and performing arts programs. Within our 51 member state associations (including Washington, D.C.), we serve 19,500 high schools and more than 12 million young people.
The NFHS writes playing rules for high school sports and provides guidance on a multitude of national issues. We offer online education courses for high school coaches,officials, students, parents, and speech and music leaders through the NFHS Learning Center. We showcase high school sports and performing arts online through the NFHS Network.
The ultimate goal is to ensure that all players have an opportunity to enjoy healthy participation, achievement and good sportsmanship in education-based activities.
The National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) serves its members by providing leadership for the administration of education-based high school athletics and activities through the writing of playing rules that emphasize health and safety, educational programs that develop leaders, and administrative support to increase opportunities and promote sportsmanship
NFHS Baseball Rules 2020
What new rules were implemented by the NFHS for baseball? They are announcing them soon.