News

Spring Athletics Protocols

Spring 2021 Spectator Policy

Durham Academy will follow the NCISAA spring spectator policy by allowing a limited number of only home spectators at on-campus events. Each opposing school has their own policy regarding visiting spectators. DA spectators are not permitted to attend away events unless communicated directly by the Athletics Department that a specific school will allow away fans to attend.  This info will be sent out by the AD, coach or parent rep a few days prior to any away event where our fans can attend.   

  • Spectators will be admitted only via a pass list that will be at the entrance to each facility. 

  • Each member of the home team’s roster will be given 4 tickets per contest. These tickets may be given to whomever the student/parents wish.

  • DA Parent Athletics Committee (PAC) reps for each sport will coordinate ticket requests and provide a list to the DA Athletics staff by noon on the day of the game.

  • All spectators will be screened by a PAC parent volunteer prior to entering the contest site. This screening will include a temperature check (must be 100.3 degrees or below) and DA’s COVID-19 screening questions.  

  • Spectators must observe social distancing (minimum six feet). Families may sit or stand together but are required to social distance from others.

  • Per TISAC policy: All spectators must wear a face covering at all times while attending a DA sporting event on campus. Even if a spectator is more than six feet away from another person, a face covering must be worn.

Spring Competition/Practice Protocols

NCISAA Minimum Standards

  • DA student-athletes will be screened (temperature checked/COVID-19 screening questions) prior to the start of each practice/competition.

  • Per NCISAA guidelines, all visiting teams will confirm to DA Athletics that their student-athletes, coaches and essential personnel have been screened prior to their arrival on DA’s campus or prior to DA teams’ arrival on their campus.  

  • Per NCISAA and DA policies, coaches will promote frequent use of hand washing and hand sanitizer for athletes, coaches, staff and officials.

  • Shared equipment will be sanitized during and after each practice.

  • There will be no sharing of water or water bottles.

  • All coaches, staff and officials will be masked at all times during practices and competitions.

  • Student-athletes will be masked at all times during practices and competitions, except for certain sport-specific occasions that are noted on the sport-specific protocols below.

  • DA will comply with all school-specific protocols that go beyond the NCISAA minimum standards. We ask that each school share these protocols with DA Athletics staff at least 48 hours prior to each competition.

Sport-Specific Policies

Durham Academy will follow the NCISAA minimum standard guidelines for all spring sports with some added safety measures on a sport-specific basis. Please note that each conference and school may have its own additional policies over and above the NCISAA minimum standards. These school/sport-specific policies will be shared with coaches prior to any contest.   

Baseball/Softball

  • Face Coverings

    • NCISAA PROTOCOLS

      • Team playing defense: participants playing defense, except the catcher, are not required to wear a face covering while in the field.

      • Team at bat: all participants, while at bat, are required to wear a face covering, including while running the bases.

      • DURHAM ACADEMY ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS

        • All DA players will wear a face covering in the field and at bat. While we will not require our opponents to wear face coverings in the field, we will encourage them to do so.  

        • DA will not allow exemptions for face coverings or play any school who allows medical or any other kind of exemption for face coverings. Opposing schools must have ALL student-athletes, coaches and staff adhere to the state minimum requirements.

  • Pregame Meetings 

    • Umpires will meet with head coaches only. To ensure physical distance is maintained, coaches should stay outside the width of the batter’s box at home plate, maintaining 6 feet of distance between each person. 

    • Coaches are required to wear face coverings at all times.

    • All handshakes between officials, coaches, and players should be avoided. 

    • Players should not enter the field beyond the dugout area to congratulate a runner who scores. 

    • Players and coaches should refrain from spitting sunflower seeds or gum in the dugout or on the field of play.

  • Equipment 

    • Plastic shields covering the entire face (unless integrated into the face mask and attached to a helmet) shall not be allowed during contests. 

    • Face coverings must be one color, not distracting, and no designs. Pitchers cannot wear optic yellow cloth face coverings. 

    • Teams may opt to furnish their own game balls to prevent crossover contact. 

    • Game balls should be cleaned and sanitized throughout the contest as recommended by the ball manufacturer. 

    • It is recommended that players do not share helmets, bats, drying towels, or catcher’s equipment if possible.

  • Post-game Meetings 

    • Post-game sportsmanship meetings should take place without handshakes. For example, players lining up on the baseline to tip hats to opponents.

  • Team Dugouts 

    • Team dugouts/benches will need to be extended or modified to accommodate social distancing. Both teams will have an area down each baseline to spread out.

    • Team benches should be cleaned and sanitized between games.

    • No spectators should be seated or standing within 6 feet of the dugout.

    • Players, coaches, managers, etc. on the team bench are required to wear face coverings when not actively participating in the contest. 

    • Dugouts should be limited to individuals essential to playing the contest. 

    • Assistant coaches, bookkeeper, statistician, trainer, photographers, etc. should be outside the dugout if social distancing cannot be maintained. 

    • Team rosters may need to be reduced to maintain social distancing in the dugout. 

  • Scorer’s Table 

    • The scorer’s table/box should be limited to essential personnel with a recommended distance of six feet between individuals. The number allowed is determined by the space available in the box. When physical distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings are required as stated in the current Governor’s Executive Order. 

  • Considerations for Umpires 

    • Bring personal hand sanitizer. Wash hands frequently. 

    • Do not share equipment. 

    • No touching of baseballs. 

    • The umpire-in-chief should wear a face covering behind the plate. 

    • Clean equipment after each game. 

    • Follow social distancing guidelines. Consider six feet minimum distance when talking to others (players, coaches, other umpires) or during an at-plate meeting.

    • Post-game sportsmanship meetings should take place without handshakes.

Boys Lacrosse

  • Contest Management 

    • Pre-Game & Post-Game Considerations 

      • Limit attendees to one (1) coach and one (1) player from each team and lead official.

      • Ensure the pre-game meeting is away from the sideline and all individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet. Coaches, players and officials are required to wear masks during the meeting. 

      • Eliminate gathering, hugging, shaking hands, fist bumps, dog piles, etc. following the pre-game meeting and at the conclusion of the game. 

      • Teams may honor/promote sportsmanship in a creative way (i.e. wave or bow at an opponent; say good luck in sign language). 

      • Teams should be in their starting positions for the playing of the National Anthem.

  • Equipment and Protective Clothing 

    • Players and officials must wear cloth face coverings at all times. This is during game action on the field and while on the sideline.

    • Players and officials may wear gloves and long undergarments. 

    • Clear, molded and non-rigid face shields approved by the helmet manufacturer are allowed in addition to, but not as substitutes for a cloth mask.

    • Stick and equipment checks will be completed by one official per team. 

    • Coaches and officials should maintain social distancing at all times. 

    • Players are strongly advised to keep their helmets on and properly fastened while on the sideline during play.

    • DA will not allow exemptions for face coverings nor play any school that allows medical or other exemptions for face coverings. All participants in games that DA plays must be masked at all times. Opposing schools must have ALL student-athletes, coaches and staff adhere to the state minimum requirements.

  • Scoring Table and Team Boxes 

    • Limited to essential personnel which includes home team scorer, timer, etc. with a required distance of 6 feet between individuals. Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and will need to find an alternative location. 

    • DA strongly recommends that coaches provide gloves and hand sanitizer for essential personnel. 

    • Cloth face coverings are required. 

    • The team box for players is extended to the end line to ensure 6 feet of social distancing. 

    • The substitution box and coaching box dimensions will remain the same.

  • Substitution and Sideline Protocol 

    • Ensure that players substituting, coaches, and the table personnel are maintaining social distancing. 

    • If available, the penalty area should be marked off in a way that allows social distancing between penalized players, substitutes, and the table personnel. 

  • The Faceoff 

    • Faceoff players and game officials are required to wear face coverings during the duration of the faceoff process.

    • Whenever a 12-goal differential exists at any point, the following protocol must be followed: 

      • After each goal, the ball shall be awarded to the scored-upon team at midfield. 

      • This modification will remain in place for the remainder of the contest even if the score differential drops below 12 goals.

Girls Lacrosse

  • Pre-Game & Post-Game Considerations 

    • Limit attendees to one (1) coach and one (1) player from each team and lead official

    • Ensure the pre-game meeting is away from the sideline and all individuals maintain a social distance of 6 feet. Mask use by coach, player and official is required during the meeting. 

    • Eliminate gathering, hugging, shaking hands, fist bumps, etc. following the pre-game meeting and at the conclusion of the game. 

    • Teams may honor/promote sportsmanship in a creative way (i.e. wave or bow at an opponent; say good luck in sign language). 

    • Teams should be in their starting positions for the playing of the National Anthem.

  • Equipment and Protective Clothing 

    • Players and officials must wear cloth face coverings 

      • DA will not allow face-covering exemptions nor play any school that allows medical or any other kind of face-covering exemptions. All participants must be masked at all times.  

    • Players and officials may wear gloves and long undergarments. 

    • Pre-game stick and equipment checks will be completed by one official per team. Each team will place their sticks on their restraining line during pregame meetings. One official per team will check sticks. Officials should use gloves for stick checks. Players will return to collect their own stick after the pre-game check is completed.

  • Scoring Table and Team Boxes 

    • Limit to essential personnel which includes home team scorer, timer, etc. with a recommended distance of 6 feet between individuals. 

    • Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and will need to find an alternative location. 

    • DA strongly recommends that coaches provide gloves and hand sanitizer for essential personnel. 

    • The team box for players is extended to the end line to ensure proper 6-feet of social distancing.

  • Substitution and Sideline Protocol 

    • Ensure that players substituting, coaches, and the table personnel are maintaining social distancing. 

    • Split sub box so that each team subs in from their own half of the sub box. 

    • If available, the penalty area should be marked off that allows social distancing between penalized players, substitutes, and the table personnel. 

  • The Draw 

    • Draw players and game officials are required to wear a cloth face covering during the duration of the draw process. 

    • Whenever a 10-goal differential exists, the following protocol must be followed: 

      •  After each goal, the ball shall be awarded to the scored-upon team at midfield. 

      • This modification will remain in place for the remainder of the contest even if the score differential drops below 10 goals. 

  • 8-Meter Positioning 

    • Only one player per hash on 8-meter setup, the existing rule that allows the defense to adjacent hashes remains in force.

Girls Soccer

  • Pregame Conference 

    • Limit attendees to head referee or center referee, the head coach from each team, and a single captain from each team. 

    • Move the location of the pregame conference to the center of the field. All individuals will maintain a social distance of 6 feet.

    • Suspend handshakes prior to and following the Pregame Conference.

  • Equipment & Accessories 

    • Cloth face coverings are required. Durham Academy does not allow exemptions for face coverings, nor will play any school that allows medical or other types of exemptions for face coverings. All participants must wear a face covering at all times.   

    • Gloves are permissible. 

    • Ball holders maintain social distancing of 6 feet. 

  • Team Benches 

    • Bench personnel will observe social distancing of 6 feet. 

  • Substitution Procedures 

    • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet between the substitute, officials and/or teammate(s) by encouraging that substitutions occur closer to the center line. 

  • Officials Table 

    • Limit to essential personnel which includes home team scorer and timer with a recommended distance of 6 feet between individuals. Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and will need to find an alternative location. 

  • Pre- and Post-Match Ceremony 

    • Suspend the pre-game world cup introduction line and send players to their field positions with bench personnel lined up on the touch line (3-6 feet apart) for introductions. 

    • Suspend post-game protocol of shaking hands. 

  • Soccer Rules Interpretations 

    • Legal Uniform 

      • Long sleeves are permissible. 

      • Long pants are permissible. 

      • Undergarments are permissible but must be of a similar length for the individual and a solid like color for the team. 

    • Officials Uniform & Equipment 

      • By NCISAA adoption, long-sleeved shirts/jackets are permissible. 

      • Electronic whistles are permissible. 

      • Cloth face coverings are required. 

      • Gloves are permissible.

Boys Tennis

  • Players competing in singles are not required to wear face coverings. DA requests that players wear a face covering until they arrive at their singles court and only take off their face coverings after arrival. DA also asks that players wear a face covering when a match ends, any time a singles player comes off the court, or before leaving the court.

  • Doubles players are required to wear face coverings. 

    • Durham Academy does not allow mask exemptions nor will play any school that allows mask exemptions for medical or any other reasons. All doubles competitors must be masked at all times.

  • Pre-match Meetings 

    • The host coach will have a welcome meeting on the court with each team on their established home and visitor side of the net (and appropriately socially distanced). 

    • During this meeting, the following topics should be covered in addition to usual information that is shared at this meeting. 

      • Home and Visitor benches will remain fixed throughout all matches. Only home players will sit on or touch the bench on the home side and only visiting players will sit on or touch the bench on the visitor side. 

      • Social distancing should be maintained, and masks worn during pre-match meetings. 

      • All handshakes between officials and players should be avoided. 

      • Players may offer an acknowledgment such as a nod, a thumbs up or a “good match” or a racquet tap instead of shaking hands. 

      • Benches should be at least 6 feet apart. 

      • Any time multiple matches are played on the same day, player benches should be cleaned and disinfected between matches. This may require more time in between matches. 

      • The visiting team could always get the choice of serve or side, so there is no need for a racket spin or if coaches choose to use the spin, social distancing must be maintained. 

      • Only Durham Academy players will touch the scorecards and will change them at each changeover. 

      • Players should not hand balls to each other. 

      • When changing sides/crossovers, players will change sides of the net at opposite ends. 

      • Hand sanitizer should be available for players to use at the crossovers. 

      • Players should bring their own personal water containers, towels and any other personal items they may need and store those items in their tennis bag when not in use. 

      • Coaches shall wear facial covering that covers both nose and mouth when coaching players at the fence. 

      • At the conclusion of the match, players may meet at the net 6 feet apart and extend rackets over the net and tap them. 

    • Coaching 

      • Group coaching should take place only where full social distancing is possible. Group coaching should be limited to small groups. An exception would be where all participants are family members or are otherwise living in one home. 

      • Players should be positioned at well-spaced stations. 

      • Use live ball drills and game-based play instead of baskets.  

      • Players are encouraged to use their racquet/foot to push balls back and/or hit them to their opponent to avoid using hands and touching the balls. 

    • Tennis Balls 

      • Practice caution with tennis balls. 

      • Try to restrict balls to a particular group, court or day of the week. 

      • Using new balls on a very regular basis is highly encouraged. 

    • Tennis Equipment 

      • Tennis equipment should be touched only by the pro/coach and should be cleaned frequently. 

      • Use alcohol-based disinfectant to clean all tennis gear, including racquets, towels, target cones, ball machines, etc.

Boys Tennis

  • Teams should review and understand individual course guidelines, restrictions and requirements BEFORE playing a course. 

  • All players will wear masks before practice/matches while putting, chipping, or moving about the practice area, etc. IF social distancing cannot be maintained.

  • As normal golf etiquette and play, no sharing of any equipment will be allowed. Each player should carry hand sanitizer in their bags. 

  • It is the coaches’ responsibility to educate their players about how to effectively social distance in golf. This process should be used during practice as well. 

    • While teeing off, players need to remain distanced. 

    • This practice should continue on each green. 

  • All groups should be threesomes. 

  • Scorecards and options to keep the score card process safer. 

    • Score cards will be issued to each player and each player will keep the whole group’s score on each hole. Cards can be compared at the scorer's table. 

    • The process of final scoring must involve social distancing. 

  • Additional recommendations include, but are not limited to:

    • A scoring table that is larger than usual with 3 chairs and the scorers 6 feet away from each other;

    • Each player will have to examine each scoring card; 

    • Masks must be worn during scoring;

    • Coaches should keep teams separated while waiting for the completion of scoring. 

  • Post-game meetings

    • Postgame sportsmanship meetings should take place without handshakes. 

    • Social distancing: 

      • Practice range and greens 

        • Coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between players as much as possible. This means additional spacing between players while playing, chatting, or changing drills so that players remain spaced out, and no congregating of players while waiting to hit. Workouts should be conducted in ‘pods’ of students, with the same 5-10 students always working out together. This ensures more limited exposure if someone develops an infection. 

        • On-Course Play 

          • Only essential personnel are permitted on the course. 

          • These are defined as players, coaches, athletic trainers, and officials. 

          • All others, i.e., managers, video people, media photographers, etc. are considered non- essential personnel and are to be in the gallery remaining by the cart path (when present) or remaining at least 15 yards from the players. 

        • Spectators 

          • Spectators should practice social distancing between different household units, accept personal responsibility for public health guidelines and remain at least 15 yards from the players.

        • Team handshakes 

          • Teams and individuals shall NOT exchange handshakes before, during, or following the practice or competition.

Track and Field

  • Face Coverings and Sport Specific In-Season Exceptions:

    • Participants active in an event when social distancing can be maintained. 

      • Middle distance and distance races on the track of 800m and longer (any event not run entirely in lanes) are considered moderate-risk activities if conducted under normal circumstances. 

      • Sprint, hurdle, relay events that run entirely in lanes must use every other lane and have social distancing at the conclusion of the event to ensure distancing.

      • Field events must maintain required social distancing.

    • Durham Academy Track Face-Covering Policy: All athletes will be masked until they have reached the starting line for their race. Athletes will be given a command to remove their mask with the following options:

      • Carry their mask with them during the race, tuck it into shorts or around their neck.

      • Place their mask in a Ziploc bag at the starting line, if and only if they have another Ziploc bag with a second mask at the finish line.

      • Durham Academy does not allow mask exemptions nor will play any school that allows exemptions to our face-covering policy. Student-athletes and coaches must have a face covering on at all times except for the event situations above.

  • Meet Management 

    • Utilize NFHS considerations to best handle the meets you are hosting according to the size/capacity of the stadium/complex. 

    • Schools should make a judgement call on the number of schools and athletes that participate in the Meet. Not all venues are the same; some have very limited space, while others may be able to accommodate a much larger group.

      • Durham Academy is limiting home meets to 30 boys and 30 girls competitors per school.  

      • Field events will be completed by each participating school at their home track the day before the meet as to eliminate these events at the meet itself.   

    •  Host schools can mark off sections in the bleachers or fields to keep schools/teams away from one another. 

      • Durham Academy will use cones on the infield to block off certain areas for each team.  Coaches are responsible for keeping their athletes inside their cones and they should only leave their team area to go to their race.  Again, face coverings will be required at all times while waiting in the infield.

    • Create spacing in the clerk area at check-in to maintain social distancing. 

    • Space heats out around the track to maintain social distancing. 

    • Athletes and coaches not actively participating in an event should be separated from the spectators. 

    • Field access should be limited to essential personnel only. This would include “active” participants, officials and meet personnel. 

    • Coaching boxes should be limited to one coach per school per box. 

    • When possible, athletes should warm-up outside the field. 

    • Create ample space for runners at the conclusion of all races. Coaches/volunteers need to eliminate/minimize crowding at the end of races. 

    • When possible, once an athlete has finished his or her events for the day, he or she should exit the facility for the day. 

    • All athletes and coaches should have their own labeled beverage container as there should be no shared water coolers or containers. 

    • Hand sanitizer should be available throughout the facility and used by all athletes before and after touching the starting blocks.

  • General Considerations: (SP-shot put; DT-Discuss Throw; JT- Javelin Throw; LJ- Long Jump; TJ- Triple Jump; HJ- High Jump; PV- Pole Vault; RL-Relays) 

    • SP, DT, JT should enforce social distancing for all athletes and officials. 

      • To limit contact: athletes can provide their own implements (that pass inspection) and retrieve their own implements after all throws. 

      • If athletes cannot provide their own implements, then it is recommended that implements be sanitized between each use. 

    • LJ, TJ should enforce social distancing for all athletes and officials. 

    • HJ, PV should enforce social distancing for all athletes and officials. 

      • To limit contact: athletes should not share vaulting poles or poles should be sanitized after each use.    

    • Sprint, hurdle and relay events will run entirely in lanes, may use every other lane to assist with distancing. 

      • Durham Academy meets will utilize every other lane.

      • Recommend not using baskets at the start line for apparel. 

    • Relay events

      • Batons should not be shared between teams. 

      • Batons should be cleaned after each race.