SCHSL & COVID-19

SCHSL Staff Page

 

See below for all postponements and updates.



Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relations                                             tnewman@schsl.org / 803.896.0417
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  Wednesday, July 15, 2020

 SCHSL announces sports season revamp due to Covid19

The South Carolina High School League Executive Committee met earlier today and approved the SCHSL plan to keep sports operational, with presumably a shortened season for fall sports.  Two other items were heard, Lexington School District One’s plan of action and Greenville County Public School District’s letter requesting a temporary halt to fall sports. The SCHSL Sports Calendar was approved; however, Lexington School District One will appeal the decision to the Appellate Panel next week.

“It is the premise and promise of this league, from the membership, SCHSL staff, Executive Board and Appellate Panel, to support and encourage athletic participation among ALL of South Carolina’s students,” state Commissioner Jerome Singleton. “We have been overcome with grief and outright disappointment since mid-March when the nation was at a standstill with the onset of Covid-19. What has followed is months of uncertainty, confusion, and despair. That ends now! We are forging ahead with the information we have, placing as many health and safety precautions at the frontline and allowing fall sports to continue with adjustments.”

Noteworthy decisions voted on by the Executive Committee include:

  • Approved to push back start of practice from July 31 to August 17
  • 7 game football season starting September 11
  • Region games (Girls Tennis, Volleyball, Football) played first and shortened playoff schedule

The attached 2020-21 SCHSL Sports Calendar (subject to change due to pending appeal) has been updated. Although there are many opinions and variations on the correct way to proceed and prepare for the school year, we all agree and can work together to make 2020-21 a season to remember. The SCHSL is committed to doing our very best to lift our students, support our coaches, and activate our programs to start anew. Making alterations to the sports calendar was one of many steps that also incorporated the previously shared guidelines.  Stressing the importance of CDC and DHEC safety guidelines is paramount to the success of our sports season.

Proposed Fall Sports Season Calendar

Fall Sports start date moved from July 31st to August 17th for first day of practice for all sports.

Start date will be reviewed within 1 week prior to determine if it is possible to start on that specific date. If determined that it is not possible, then the anticipated start date will be moved/delayed to no less than one week from the original start date.

Each time the start date is moved/delayed, the length of the sports season as well as the playoffs will have to be evaluated to determine the best option for each sport.

 

Start Date Layout

Football:

First Game: September 11th (Begin with Region play)

Maximum Regular Season Games:  7

Playoffs Start: October 30th 

State Finals: November 20th

 

Girls’ Tennis and Volleyball:

First Contest: August 31st (Begin with Region play)

Girls’ Tennis and Volleyball Playoffs Start: October 19th

Girls’ Tennis and Volleyball State Finals: October 31st

 

Swim and Girls’ Golf:

First Contest: August 31st

Swim State Finals: October 10th and 12th

Girls’ Golf Qualifiers: October 19th

Girls’ Golf State Finals: October 26th and 27th

 

Cross Country:

First Contest: August 31st

Cross Country Qualifiers: Week of November 2nd – 7th

Cross Country State Finals: Week of November 9th -14th   

 

Competitive Cheer:

First Contest: September 12th

Upper/Lower Qualifiers: Week of November 2nd – 7th *Upper/Lower Qualifier*

Cheer State Finals:  Week of November 9th -14th

 

 

In the sports of Football, Volleyball, and Girls’ Tennis, region play will be used to determine playoff seedings. Teams not making the playoffs in football will be allowed ONE additional game.

In the sports of Swim, Girls’ Golf, Cross-country, and Competitive Cheer, qualifier events will determine advancement to the respective State Finals.


Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relationstnewman@schsl.org/ 803.896.0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     Friday, May 8, 2020

2019-20 SCHSL year-end initiatives unveiled: Senior Spotlight and Commemorative T-Shirt

Nationwide, the senior class of 2020 has experienced events like none in recent history. The South Carolina High School League shares the disappointment of those seniors in missing out on so many great traditions that their predecessors experienced. With that in mind, the SCHSL is announcing two initiatives intended to recognize and celebrate seniors at member schools as well as raise funds for one of the state’s and nation’s most recognizable charities.

Beginning Monday, May 11th, look for the SCHSL Senior Spotlight on Twitter and Facebook. Each day, a different senior student-athlete from an SCHSL member school will be showcased, with nominations being accepted via email at the following address:seniors@schsl.org. Parents and fans are encouraged to provide a photo and information supporting their favorite seniors. The Senior Spotlight is supported by the corporate partnership that the SCHSL enjoys with the Carolina Panthers, whose annual contribution to the High School League’s Student Leadership Summit was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to provide recognition to as many student-athletes as we can during this challenging time,” said Jerome Singleton, Commissioner of the SCHSL. “The loss of the spring competitive season took a bigger toll on our young men and women for whom it was a final opportunity to play the games they love for the schools they love, the senior class.”

At the same time, another effort is underway to provide recognition to all SCHSL seniors while contributing to the efforts of the Salvation Army of the Carolinas as they fight hunger and homelessness in our communities. TeamIP, which handles the design, production, and sale of merchandise at SCHSL championships, has created a commemorative t-shirt to celebrate seniors throughout the state. The “Seniors Remembered” tee will be available for purchase beginning Monday the 11th with 25% of purchase price going to the Salvation Army of the Carolinas.

“The Class of 2020 has overcome major obstacles during their journey to close out their K-12 academic and athletic career. They are truly worthy of all efforts being put forth to celebrate their accomplishments,” said Commissioner Singleton. “We are extremely proud to rally around the efforts of an organization such as the Salvation Army who has a track record of supporting South Carolinians through all crises to include homelessness and hunger. Another positive aspect that makes this a winner for all involved.”

Additional information on the “Seniors Remembered” t-shirt, including connectivity to the TeamIP online store, can be found on the home page at www.schsl.org

Thank you to everyone who has supported our member schools and student-athletes throughout this unusual end to the 2019-20 school year.


To: Superintendents, Principals and Athletics Directors

From: Jerome Singleton, Commissioner SC High School League

Subject: Spring Sports

Date: April 30, 2020

Greetings, I trust that this finds each of you doing well and continuing to work through the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. We are about to begin the open season for fall sports on May 1, 2020. Prior to this period opening, the SCHSL staff wants to make sure that everyone understands what they can do during this time.

All member schools (Middle and High) can continue to offer strength and conditioning workouts to your athletes using any media platform that allows for you to conduct workouts provided it does not require athletes and/or coaches to gather in one location. Additionally, workouts that are put on paper, or weekly workouts that can be distributed and followed by athletes at home are also acceptable. These workouts cannot be mandatory, and any virtual workout led by a coach must take place after “normal” school hours to continue to respect the academic load that each student still carries. As part of the guidelines, all distance learning workouts (conditioning and/or sport-specific) must be approved by the local school district after review of all possible health risks and legal ramifications.

Sports that will be in open season (Fall Sports) may offer sports specific training in addition to conditioning through a video platform that you choose provided that, it does not require athletes and/or coaches to gather in one location. School issued equipment will not be allowed and participation cannot be mandatory. Cheerleading will not be allowed to teach or instruct stunting and tumbling as these are a safety risk for the athlete. Competitive cheer will not be allowed to have any type of tryout. At the same time, while we do not regulate sideline cheer, we strongly recommend that tryouts not be allowed during this time due to the same concerns for safety and liability.

Athletes and coaches are still encouraged to follow the guidelines for social distancing as well as the Executive order of the Governor. While many are eager to get back together and start working again, we cannot stress enough that coach(s) and/or athlete(s) must not meet in person or groups to conduct these training sessions. One on one activities and use of school facilities will not be permitted. The SCHSL continues to think of you during this difficult time and our staff is available to answer any questions you may have.

As a note, the office staff has received numerous calls and emails referencing “open season guidelines” during the months of June and July. Our intention is to follow the League’s calendar for that period; however, the Governor’s orders on social distancing may interrupt the League’s calendar. We will continue to monitor “orders” given by the Governor as it relates to “social distancing” and provide an update later in the month of May.


Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relations
tnewman@schsl.org/ 803.896.0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, April 24, 2020

SCHSL announces online Spirit Challenge via Twitter

With the current void in athletic competition in the Palmetto State, the South Carolina High School League has created a fun,yet safe alternative to bring back the school vs. school matchups and  are all missing during this COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning next week, students, fans and high school alumni across South Carolina will have a chance to support their team in the SCHSL Spirit Challenge via Twitter.

This social media event will be hosted on the SCHSL Twitter account and feature a bracket comprising all 220-memberhigh schools. *The bracket will not be aligned by classification or geographical region.Each matchup will allow for voting by the public for 24 hours. The school that gets the most Twitter votes will be advancing to the next round.

“We are well aware of just how strong the support is for high school sports across South Carolina and school pride has not been diminished by these challenging times,” states Commissioner Jerome Singleton. “We encourage all schools to utilize their social media accounts to spread the word about this all-inclusive competition to get their fans involved in the voting.School spirit is at your fingertips-be sure to vote daily.”

Opening round matchups will begin on Monday, April 27th with each matchup being posted for voting on the @SCHSL Twitter account for a 24-hour period. Stay tuned to the SCHSL Twitter account for early morning matchups and poll postings. The opening round will be spread out over 4 days with fans able to vote on all pairings. Be sure to view the bracket link at http://schsl.org/index.php/spiritchallenge-2020/to find your school’s date of competition. We encourage you to participate each day as there will be multiple matchups who need your input.

The SCHSL Spirit Challenge is sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance, Jostens, Wilson and TeamIP.


Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relations
tnewman@schsl.org/ 803.896.0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, April 22, 2020

SCHSL 2019-20Spring Season cancelled

In accordance with Governor McMaster’s announcement of in-person school closure for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, all remaining SCHSL events for 2019-20 school year, to include all spring sports activities, are cancelled.

This is an unprecedented time across South Carolina and the entire nation. Following the SCHSL Constitution and Bylaws, this was not an easy decision to concede. However, the health and safety of all must take priority in our decision. We thank all participants, their coaches, athletics directors, administration, their parents, and communities who have dedicated tremendous amounts of time, passion, and effort to middle and high school athletics.

“No one could have predicted mid-March that we would be making this announcement one month later. I am certain we are all feeling loss and heartache over the ongoing COVID19 upheaval of our routine and daily lives. The hope we had for a continuation of spring athletics, although admirable, is unrealistic as the schools remain closed by order of the Governor’s Office,” states Commissioner Jerome Singleton.

The end of the season is especially devastating to our statewide Class of 2020 seniors. We appreciate and thank you for everything you have done for your schools and communities during your high school career. We truly wish you the very best as you move ahead to college and/or the workforce. Although difficult, the lessons learned and friendships made through high school sports activities will last throughout your lifetime.

The spring season cancellation was formalized during the April 22, 2020meeting of the SCHSL Executive Committee. We look forward to the resumption of high school activities during the 2020-21 school year and will continue to work on those events as we move forward. The SCHSL thanks everyone involved for their patience and understanding throughout this process. We ask that you continue to follow the established protocols that have been set by our federal, state and local leaders as we combat COVID-19.


To:                   Superintendents, Principals and Athletics Directors

From:              Jerome Singleton, Commissioner, SC High School League

Subject:          COVID-19 Workouts

Date:               April 8, 2020

The COVID-19 Virus has certainly altered the many traditional ways that we are working with our students and athletes. The SCHSL recognizes that many of your student-athletes would like to continue working with their coaches within the limits provided by Executive Order of Governor McMaster. All member schools (Middle and High) can offer strength and conditioning workouts to your athletes using any media platform that allows for you to conduct workouts provided it does not require athletes and/or coaches to gather in one location. Additionally, workouts that are put on paper, or weekly workouts that can be distributed and followed by athletes at home are also acceptable. These workouts cannot be mandatory, and any virtual workout led by a coach must take place after “normal” school hours to continue to respect the academic load that each student still carries. As part of the guidelines, all distance learning workouts (conditioning and/or sport-specific) must be approved by the local school district after review of all possible health risks and legal ramifications.

Sports that are currently in season (Spring Sports) may offer sports specific training in addition to conditioning through a video platform that you choose provided that, it does not require athletes and/or coaches to gather in one location. Cheer, which is in open season may do sports specific training, except for stunting and tumbling as these are a safety risk for the athlete. At this time cheer will not be allowed to have any type of tryout. Sports that are in closed season may offer strength and conditioning activities only. Any sports specific training or gathering of athletes and/or coaches will be viewed as a violation of closed season rules and regulations for those that are still in closed season.

Athletes and coaches are still encouraged to follow the guidelines for social distancing as well as the Executive order of the Governor. While many are eager to get back together and start working again, we cannot stress enough that coach(s) and/or athlete(s) must not meet in person or groups to conduct these training sessions. One on one activities and use of school facilities will not be permitted. The SCHSL continues to think of you during this difficult time and our staff is available to answer any questions you may have.


Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relations                                            tnewman@schsl.org / 803.896.0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                       Thursday, April 2, 2020

 

SCHSL: COVID-19/Coronavirus update (4-2-20)

The interruption of spring sports is an unwelcomed and ongoing challenge of the COVID-19/ Coronavirus crisis. During today’s teleconference, the South Carolina High School League Executive Committee continued to weigh options that comply with Governor McMaster’s Executive Order stating South Carolina schools remain closed through April; thereby suspending all SCHSL athletic activities through the end of April. Our partnership with the academic community will determine what the future holds for our member schools and spring sports season.  We are remaining idle for a statewide update on school closures by the Governor’s Office as well as the State Department of Education.

As far as the suspension of all contests, practices, workouts (conditioning and strength training), and/or open season skill development, League staff is working diligently to create options for the possibility of virtual conditioning.  All avenues to keep our students and coaches active during this postponement are being explored. Once we develop an acceptable remedy to following health and safety guidelines while allowing a virtual option, we will distribute complete details to member schools immediately.

“We are still following the guidelines and parameters set by state and national governing bodies. It is our hope to not have to cancel the season and be able to take advantage of all dates at our disposal once schools reopen. We are excited at the idea of providing another form of interaction between our coaches and student-athletes that will keep them safe but also allow fellowship and conditioning. We must seek avenues digitally and virtually that can improve the separation anxiety some may be experiencing. These are trying times that require some innovative methods to conquer,” states Commissioner Jerome Singleton.

We ask that you continue to follow the advice of medical professionals, while maintaining communication with your local education leaders.

Next scheduled SCHSL Executive Committee meeting: April 22, 2020 to review Spring sports schedule and the status of COVID-19/Coronavirus.


Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relations                                                                      tnewman@schsl.org/ 803.896.0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                      Wednesday, March25, 2020

SCHSL:COVID-19/Coronavirus update(3-25-20)

In accordance with the Executive Order by Governor McMaster, all South Carolina public schools are closed until the end of April. This includes SCHSL member schools with private schools strongly encouraged to follow suit. The South Carolina High School League must alsosuspendall sportsactivities during thisschool closure order. This suspension includes all contests, practices,workouts, tryouts(conditioning and strength training), and/or open season skill development.

“We must continue the suspension of athletics not only as a necessary safety measure but to fully comply with the Governor’s Executive Order. Weplan to have the SCHSL Executive Committee reconvene via teleconference on April 2, 2020, to review the Spring sports schedule. It saddens me to say at this time, there is not a prediction on when middle and high school athletics will resume,” states Commissioner Jerome Singleton.

The COVID-19/Coronavirus hasspread across South Carolinaand the nation with social distancing being critical to halt its rapid infection rate. School athletics is not a primary concern when compared to the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, their families or fans. We ask that you continue to follow the advice of medical professionals, while maintaining communication with your local education leaders.

We can’t begin to share our sincere appreciation for your patience and understanding while we wait and hope for an end to this global virus.

Next scheduled SCHSL Executive Committee meeting:April 2, 2020 via teleconference to review Spring sports schedule and the status of COVID-19/Coronavirus.


The SCHSL continues to monitor developments regarding (COVID-19) the CORONAVIRUS and its impact on South Carolina communities.
Unfortunately,  Student Leadership Summit scheduled for April 3 has been postponed.
As we face these unchartered waters, be confident in knowing the SCHSL staff is well and readily available to assist you with guidance, support, resources and kindness.
If COVID-19 prevents the Leadership Summit from taking place and you have students you would like for us to consider for the National Leadership Summit, please email Daniel Brooks dbrooks@schsl.org for an application.
We appreciate the efforts of our state leaders who are making very difficult recommendations and decisions. We thank our membership for their continued effort to lead their communities with calmness and without judgement as positive role models for students. May we take this opportunity to recognize the blessings that we have, and resilience to assist in our daily lives.  This experience is the reason why the SCHSL exists, “to teach life lessons”.   Please stay safe.

 


Tammie Newman, Director of Communications/Public Relations                                             tnewman@schsl.org / 803.896.0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 Monday, March 16, 2020

 SCHSL: COVID-19/Coronavirus update (3-16-20)

In accordance with the Executive Order by Governor McMaster, all South Carolina public schools are closed until the end of March. This includes SCHSL member schools with private schools strongly encouraged to follow suit. Regarding middle and high school athletics, the South Carolina High School League is suspending all Spring sport activities from March 16, 2020 through April 5, 2020.  This suspension includes all contests, practices, workouts (conditioning and strength training), and/or open season skill development.

The COVID-19/Coronavirus is spreading across our state and nation with social distancing being critical to stop the spread. School athletics most certainly do not supersede the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, their families or fans.

“In order to keep our student-athletes and the education community as safe as possible, stringent measures are now in place by order of the Governor’s Office. We ask that all schools follow this Executive Order until further notice. We will reconvene via teleconference on April 2, 2020, to review the Spring sports schedule,” states Commissioner Jerome Singleton.

Please follow the advice of medical professionals as well as your state leaders, both educational and political. Our goal remains the same- to eradicate the COVID-19/Coronavirus and keep our citizens as healthy as possible.

We thank you for your full cooperation and patience during these unprecedented times. A return to normalcy is dependent on how we proceed with caution and calm.

Next scheduled meeting: April 2, 2020 via teleconference to review Spring sports schedule and the status of COVID-19/Coronavirus.


Track Directors

Meeting

Due to unavoidable circumstances related to COVID -19, the Track Directors Meeting on Wed. March 25 is postponed.
We will keep you posted of any updates or changes as soon as they are made.

It is in the publics best interest to stay informed with CDC and SCDHEC websites and social media platforms. The links below are being updated regularly for public viewing:
https://accelerate.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/GuidelinesforReopeningPublicSwimmingPools.pdf
https://governor.sc.gov/
https://www.cdc.gov/
https://www.scdhec.gov/
https://ed.sc.gov/
Most importantly, please remain home if you are sick and avoid contact with other individuals to prevent the spread of this virus.