As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the debate over high school athletics has become more prevalent as the July 31 official start date approaches.
More answers should come this coming week from the S.C. High School League. They plan to use feedback from surveys completed from principals, superintendents and athletics directors asking for their input for the 2020-21 school year.
The executive committee is scheduled to meet and come up with proposals to decide on how to move forward.
There are 4 plans being discussed by the S.C. Football Coaches Association which could receive consideration. One of the plans which has apparently received support is "Plan C," which would divide the sports year into 4 seasons with shortened regular seasons and playoffs.
Teams can start practice 2 weeks before the regular season and only the regular season champions and runner-up make the post-season, during which all rounds are single-elimination:
The sports season breakdown as follows:
FALL (Sept. 21 - Nov. 27)
- girls tennis (12 varsity matches, 8 JV matches)
- girls golf (8 varsity matches, 4 JV matches) - swimming (4 meets)
- baseball (16 varsity games, 12 JV games)
- softball (16 varsity games, 12 JV games)
- girls lacrosse (12 matches)
- cross country (5 meets)
(NOTE: The golf and swimming seasons will take place Sept. 7 - Oct. 30)
WINTER (Nov. 23 - Jan. 29)
- basketball (16 varsity games, 12 JV games)
- spirit cheer
SPRING 1 (Jan. 25 - April 2)
- football (6 varsity & JV games)
- volleyball (12 varsity, 8 JV games)
- Competitive cheer (4 competitions)
SPRING 2 (March 22 - May 28)
- track (5 meets)
- wrestling (8 varsity, 4 JV matches)
- soccer (12 varsity, 8 JV matches)
- boys golf (8 varsity matches, 4 JV matches)
- boys tennis (12 varsity, 8 JV matches)
- boys lacrosse (12 varsity, 8 JV matches)
When the sports take place will be based upon the classifications given by the National Federation of State High School Association and Sports Medicine Advisory:
- HIGH RISK: Sports which involve close contact and has the high probability of respiratory particles can be transmitted between participants - football, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer
- MODERATE RISK: Sports which involve close contact, but use protective equipment in place which can reduce the prospect of respiratory particles getting transmitted between participants. These sports also use equipment that can’t be cleaned by participants - basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer
- LOW RISK: Sports which can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or having the ability to clean equipment between uses - golf, individual swimming, running events, field events, weightlifting, sideline cheer, cross-country (with staggered starts)
The other plans range from not having a season (Plan A), the season starting in mid-September with only 2 scrimmages, region play only and shortened playoffs (Plan B) to moving the athletic year to the 2nd semester (Plan D).
In the past month, the school districts in Lexington and Richland counties have suspended summer workouts. On Friday, Lexington District 1 announced it would resume summer workouts on Wednesday.