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FHS Athletes Face Stringent Requirements In Summer Workouts

Franklin High School fall athletes will be able to start their workouts in late July. (File photo.)

Things are going to be different when Franklin High School athletes hit the fields for training later this month.

For one, there will be no hugs, no high-fives, no fist-bumps, no contact of any kind, for that matter.

“(W)orkouts shall be limited to conditioning, skill sets, and sport-specific non-contact drills,” according to the high school’s athletic web site.

That’s just the beginning.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association – the group that oversees all interscholastic sports in the state – has set the fall season to be from late September to around Thanksgiving.

That came with a set of regulations designed to keep athletes and coaches safe in this Age of Coronavirus.

Girls’ tennis will start on Sept. 28, with all other fall sports – football, soccer, field hockey and cross-country – starting Oct. 1.

There will also be an abridged championship season for sports in November.

The FHS athletic department has devised a set of regulations that cover what it’s calling Phase 1 workouts, from July 27 through August 9.

Athletes participating in the Phase 1 workouts – which are optional – were to have completed and returned a COVID-19 questionnaire by July 20.

Students who have tested positive for coronavirus or who have immunocompromised systems must present a physician’s clearance before they can participate in the summer workouts, according to the athletics’ department web site.

Athletes will have to fill out a COVID-19 screening form and have their temperature taken every day at home and at the workout site, according to the site.

“Any student-athlete who has answered ‘YES’ on their daily pre-screening form or who has a temperature of 100.4 or higher is asked to not attend the workout, stay home and email their respective coach and athletic director confirming this information,” according to the site.

Athletes who show up to the workout and have answered “yes” on the pre-screening form, or who have a temperature greater than 100.4 will be sent home, and not allowed to come back without a doctor’s clearance.

Athletes will have to bring their own face-coverings and a 1-gallon water jug, according to the site.

“Workouts shall be no more than 90 minutes in duration and shall include a 10-minute warm-up, and a 10-minute cool down,” according to the site. “Only one workout per day is permitted and there must be one day of rest per every seven days. (All attendees must leave school grounds immediately at the end of your allotted time).”

No one will have access to locker rooms or the buildings during the workouts. Porta-potties will be provided.

Athletes who are running, sprinting, etc. do not need to wear face masks while they are doing those activities, but they have to put them on when they’re done.

Coaches and district personnel must wear face coverings at all times, according to the regulations.

The athletes can only gather in groups of 10 or fewer, and must maintain social distancing. Groups cannot be changed once they are created, according to the regulations.

Groups must stay 12 to 18 feet apart from each other.

There will be no sharing of equipment, and all equipment will be sanitized after each workout.

Also, no spitting , chewing gum or seeds will be allowed during the workouts.

“Your cooperation in adhering to these strict guidelines is going to be crucial in allowing our district and sports programs to move forward,” the regulations state. “We need to be united and make no exceptions to these guidelines to make it successful and to keep everyone’s health and safety the highest priority.”

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