*Stay up-to-date with all state high school athletic association decisions for the spring golf season (link)
High school athletic associations, much like all of us, are facing unprecedented times during the COVID-19 pandemic. As early as mid-March, some states have canceled all spring sports including golf. Other states have delayed the start of the season or have announced they will be closely monitoring possible delays.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) released this statement recently about the decision to cancel spring sports. “The Association understands the extreme seriousness of this pandemic and joins in support of current measures being implemented as well as future considerations. In unwavering support yet with extreme sadness, we must cancel our spring sports programming. We join all Hoosiers in anticipation of a triumphant homecoming back to our schools in the fall of 2020 complete with a full complement of IHSAA sports.”
All organizations, groups, or individuals need to pay attention to CDC and WHO guidelines for social distancing and other recommendations. Additionally, all national, state and local laws and guidelines are of the utmost importance. With that said, as we get to a point where events “can” happen, we should evaluate some precautions we can take on the golf side to lead by example and show that golf can be a great place to meet all of those guidelines and provide a healthy, competitive outlet.
If we are fortunate enough that the time for safe events can be run in the next couple of months, high school athletic associations can adopt some of these same adjustments we are taking at the National High School Golf Association in order to run their local and state competitions. As we prepare for our National Invitational at Pinehurst Resort this summer, we will be taking these following precautions:
Golf Tournament COVID-19 Precautions:
- Registration – Send all rules sheets electronically and remove paper handouts. Starters or volunteers should stress social distancing and remind players or these recommendations
- Practice Facilities – Set up hitting stations at least 6 feet apart
- Scorecards – Use digital scorecards or do not exchange with other players. Vocal confirmation at scoring may be used
- Spectators and volunteers – Social distancing guidelines should be enforced and encourage walking vs. carts
- Golf Rules – Consider adopting USGA adaptations for the flagstick and bunker rakes
- Etiquette – Encourage players to not shake hands and maintain proper social distancing at all times
- Food & Beverage – if your event has F&B be sure all items are separated and individually wrapped
- General – Hand sanitizer or Lysol wipes should be readily available
Be sure to continue to check updates with your local and state governments on the COVID-19 implications around your area. Feel free to contact us Chris@highschoolgolf.org for more ideas and ways that we can all practice social distancing and enjoy a round of golf.