|Charlotte-Mecklenburg opens limited sports workouts on Sept. 14|
|Volleyball and cross country athletes are first|
|Published Monday, August 24, 2020|
|Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is opening high school athletic facilities starting Sept. 14 for volleyball and cross country.|
District athletic facilities will open beginning Sept. 14 after input from CMS athletic directors and principals before and after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s calendar changes. High school athletes’ return will be staggered, with sports teams returning based on the revised sport calendar announced by the NCHSAA and input from athletic directors and principals.
Cross country and volleyball are the first sports to resume, and CMS will evaluate the district’s preparedness to add others with more input from athletic directors and principals. Updates will be provided at a time to be determined.
“We are pleased to announce a return to on-campus athletic activity for our high school student-athletes and staff,” said CMS Director of Athletics Sue Doran. “We understand the importance and impact of athletic participation and believe our phased approach will enable us to safeguard the health of everyone involved.”
In addition to the initial evaluation period during on-campus workouts, CMS will monitor information such as statewide orders issued by Gov. Roy Cooper and Mecklenburg County data while considering expanding the sports allowed to participate.
Workouts will include NCHSAA-mandates limiting the numbers of athletes and staff allowed to gather at facilities, restrictions on the use of training and athletic equipment, mandatory social distancing, wearing face coverings and implementation of temperature checks and health screenings. NCHSAA guidance allows school districts the flexibility to establish more restrictive procedures but not less.
“CMS athletic directors, coaches, and staff are up-to-date on current health and safety guidelines and will be prepared to welcome our high school student-athletes back for skills development workouts under these guidelines,” Doran said.
Middle school athletics will not resume workouts or competition during the first semester based on several factors, including funding and transportation challenges. Middle school sports, which depend on high school athletics participation fees and a $1 surcharge, face funding delays with NCHSAA pushing start dates to the winter for most sports.
Starting Aug. 24, community partners can use CMS outdoor facilities for baseball and softball games and practices under state health department guidelines. For other outdoor sports and activities, only practices will be allowed until further notice.
When CMS athletes return to workouts or competition, community use of outdoor facilities will return to regular in-season restrictions for use, in which the district takes priority.
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