• Indiana

IHSAA issues updated return-to-play documents for fall sports, including spectator guidelines

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, August 6, 2020, 10:38 am

The Indiana High School Athletic Association sent out an update to its return-to-play documentation on Thursday, including sport-specific guidelines from the National Federation of High School Associations for the fall activities.

You can see the full document by CLICKING HERE.

Spectators are allowed, but at the discretion of local health officials and the host school, abiding by the guidelines of the governor’s restrictions for stage 4.5.

If spectators are allowed, family units may sit together, but must use 6 feet of social distancing from other family units, and bleachers may be at no more than 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 250 people. Stadiums with multiple sets of bleachers can treat each set as a separate unit, but must have separate entrances and separate designated bathroom facilities to not exceed the 250-person limit.
Large events should have the approval of the local health department.

Concessions are allowed at the discretion of the host school, but pre-packaged items are recommended. 

Cancelled contests are recorded as “no contest,” not as a forfeit loss.

For all sports, the elimination of pregame and postgame handshakes is recommended, and masks are mandated for anyone not engaged in strenuous physical activity. Neck gaiters are allowed as an easy alternative to masks.  


Notable recommendations for each sport:


• Cloth face coverings are permissible, but plastic face shields must be clear, and integrated into the helmet’s face mask.

• The NFHS is still working on a solution for sports that require tooth and mouth protectors, and guidance for that equipment will be updated at a later time.

• Coin toss limited to referee, umpire and one team representative. 



• Pre-match conference limited to head coach and the two referees, with the participants split on opposite sides of the net. No roster exchange (submitted directly to officials’ table), and coin flip: Visiting team will receive to begin the match. 

• No swapping benches, unless their is a clear and distinct disadvantage on one side, which will be discussed at the pre-match conference, and at the discretion of the first referee.

• Officials’ table limited to home scorer, libero tracker, timer and announcer, with all personnel wearing masks. 

• Masks for officials and all personnel not in the game. Use an electronic whistle, if possible. 



• Pregame conference limited to head referee, both head coaches and one captain, moved to the center of the field. 

• Officials table limited to home scorer and timer.

• Cloth face coverings permissible for all players and officials.



• Recommended widening of the course to at least 6 feet at its narrowest, and as wide as possible at the starting line. 

• Athletes called to the starting line no more than 5 minutes before the race.

• Consider scoring races with finish place only to address congestion at the finish line.