As COVID-19 cases have spiked all across the state, the South Carolina High School League has had to adapt to make fall sports as safe as possible.
On Thursday, June 25, the SCHSL executive committee held a Zoom meeting in which it voted 13-1 that recommendations from its return-to-play task force be given the force of actual requirements with penalties in place if schools do not follow these rules. These rules include social distancing, wearing masks, sanitation and limited groups of athletes.
The committee also voted that violations of these guidelines should be treated as illegal practices under current SCHSL rules. Depending on the severity of the violation, perpetrators could be fined, lose practices and scrimmages or be banned from the playoffs.
In late May, the SCHSL left the start dates for returning to sports up to individual school districts. Georgetown and Horry counties started workouts in mid-June.
The SCHSL is still in phase one of its three-phase return to sports and is trying to determine when and how it can move on to the next phase, what commissioner Jerome Singleton calls phase 1.5, which would involve the sharing of equipment among players.
However, if cases continue to rise, there may be no contests at all this this fall.
“If these numbers continue to go up, we probably won’t have sports in the fall,” SCHSL committee member and North Myrtle Beach High School athletic director Joe Quigley said.