SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Santa Maria area high school athletes are returning to their respective campuses today for the first time since last spring when all instruction went online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Athletes at Santa Maria, Righetti and Pioneer Valley high schools are able to begin conditioning activities starting today.
At Righetti High School, football, boys and girls water polo, boys and girls volleyball and cross country are all starting light training drills on Monday.
Santa Maria High School, football and cross country athletes are starting today, while at Pioneer Valley High School, football and other sports are also beginning to return.
All practices will be held with strict safety measures in place.
Teams will be allowed to begin an "extended summer conditioning period," provided that coaches are trained in proper guidelines and protocol, including Cohorts, PODS, spacing, and outdoor public safety.
Before student-athletes are allowed to practice, they must adhere to several requirements.
1. Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Return to Activity Waiver signed by parent/guardian agreeing to the requirement to self-assess their child for any COVID-19 symptoms.
2. Individual Water Bottle.
3. Completion of Athletic Clearance packet.
4. Current Health Screening/Physical (2020-2021) on file
Practices will focus on conditioning, specifically aiming to reintroduce student-athletes on specific movement and individual drills.
Coaches will instruct with the same 10 student-athletes in pods, which will be required to remain at least 20 feet apart.
All practices will take place outside. Gyms, weight rooms and pools will not be used for any athletic activity.
Student-athletes will not share equipment, have physical contact with others, and must maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.
“Athletic Directors and Administrators will review CIF, County, and District Return to Activities guidelines with coaches and players,” said District officials.
In July, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced it is planning to begin competition for high school athletics on Dec. 28, 2020.