NCAA Updates COVID-19 Guidance Maintaining A Diligent Approach

The Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition, Second Edition, has been published by the NCAA to update and expand previous guidance considering new and evolving COVID-19 pandemic knowledge.

The document provides detailed considerations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the population, reclassifying the risk of sports transmission based on evolving knowledge, and monitoring and masking for athletes, officials and other Tier 1 staff.

Other aspects in the document include the distinction between outdoor and indoor sports; monitoring methods like PCR or antigen testing; updated cardiac and fitness considerations for COVID-19 athletes; updated travel measures; and athletics discontinuation considerations.

This new guidance also helps to remind schools about the continuity of NCAA Board of Governors standards related to the operation of fall sports championships and the well-being of student-athletes. It also provides an alert for college students, parents or others about the NCAA COVID-19 Issue Hotline to report possible failures to comply with commitments expressed in the resocialisation requirements or claims that a school puts COVID-19 at risk for student-athletes.

NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline noted: “As the spread of COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is imperative we remain diligent in protecting the students, staff and officials at our member schools and conferences. Members should continue to pair this guidance with recommendations from their local health officials.”

The advice was established in conjunction with the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, the COVID-19 Working Group of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the Autonomy 5 Medical Advisory Group and takes account of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s available guidelines.