Happy Friday, Coach! We hope you find a way to make the most of the weekend ahead.
1. Facemask penalty? High school football players, coaches, and refs encouraged but not required to wear face coverings (ABC 4 Salt Lake City)
We’ve all experienced varying levels of mask policing in our every day lives over the last few months. Some grocery stores and barber shops require face masks. Other businesses like restaurants might not require masks of the patrons — only the staff.
We’ve wondered what type of restrictions and regulations might be in place for wearing masks in season. It turns out the state of Utah has decided to encourage masks for players, coaches and officials — but will not mandate that referees penalize teams for maskless participants.
The Utah High School Activities Association’s Guidelines say that players should wear masks on the sideline but they’re not required to wear them while playing.
Veteran referee Matt Schofield will be working the Viewmont-Northridge game Friday night and while he might call a facemask penalty, he won’t be calling out players or coaches who don’t wear one.
“As officials, we’ve been asked to not even participate in telling someone they need to wear a mask,” Schofield said.
How would you feel about a rule legislating that players will be penalized in games if they’re not wearing masks?
2. Mississippi high school football team & robotics collaborate on COVID-19 face shields (WLOX Mississippi)
The Gulfport High Football team is getting some help with COVID-19 gear from an unlikely source, the school’s robotics team.
Due to COVID-19, the Admirals needed clear face shields over their helmets to add another layer of protection. Team Fusion 364 designed and created a clear, polycarbonate shield. That was cut with a laser printer that fits on each football helmet and covers the entire face mask.
Now Gpt Senior LB Reggie Buggs shows us how it looks when worn. He says he and his Admiral teammates are excited to use these when they start practice Monday with helmets. pic.twitter.com/5FNp2XiGyE
— Bill Snyder (@BillSnyderWLOX) August 14, 2020
What interesting support systems has your team tapped into during the pandemic?
3. Column | Want high school fall sports in Kansas? Make sacrifices (Parson Sun)
It’s easy to say we all want to play high school football in the fall, but sacrifices have to be made in order to do it safely. This Kansas columnist lays out some of those challenges.
To provide context for the column, it’s important to note that KSHSAA has ruled that sports will start on time this fall. However, some school districts have put the brakes on.
Wyandotte County, where Kansas City is located, canceled all fall sports for its public schools.
Here’s the columnist’s advice.
For those that want sports to press on through the risk, from fans to coaches to players and administrators, sacrifices are commanded to ensure safety.
Keith Wiatrak, the head football coach at St. Paul High School, said the Three Rivers League will enforce mask-wearing and social distancing at all events.
“If you show up without a mask, we won’t let you in,” Wiatrak said. “And we’ll have people walking around and if they see someone without a mask, they’ll be asked to leave.”
A common thread among administrators is that they don’t want to be the “mask police.” Mask-wearing is, for reasons that are silly when exposed to any level of scrutiny, divisive. It’s natural for school leaders to not want to rub certain parents or families the wrong way.
But what’s easiest and what’s right often vary drastically.
Limiting crowds, enforcing mask-wearing, social distancing and other measures designed with safety in mind are necessary. If a fan wants to supersede safety because of fringe beliefs, schools shouldn’t be afraid to bar them from facilities. It’s what’s best for the kids.
What sacrifices are you willing to make to have a high school football season?
What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk