Montana High School Association COVID-19 frequently asked questions

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Eligibility

• Are students eligible to participate in activities if they are attending less than 10 hours per week in the bricks and mortar due to hybrid or total remote learning choices?

Yes, as long as they are currently enrolled in 20 hours per week of coursework at the high school and concurrently taking those classes. They must also meet all other MHSA eligibility requirements. The MHSA Executive Board waived the 10 hours per week (2 classes per day) requirement for this year only.

• Can students make up coursework from last semester due to COVID-19 issues?

A school could have given an incomplete for COVID-19 issues (no internet access, sick family member, etc.) however the coursework must have been made up in that specific class (no substitute credit) and a grade posted on his/her transcript or that specific class before the start of the first semester (20-21).

• Is transferring from another state because that state doesn’t have fall sports a reason for a hardship?

No, hardships can’t be granted if there is athletic motivation.

• The entire family is stating they are moving into our district because their state does not have fall sports. Are the family’s high school aged students eligible for varsity competition?

If one of their children is an incoming freshman, they would be varsity eligible. If they are not, they would only be varsity eligible if the entire family moved (mom, dad, minor siblings) into your school’s attendance area and they totally vacated occupancy of their previous residence.There can’t be two residences. Also, they must meet all other MHSA eligibility requirements.

• What if the family does move but wants to go back to their home in Washington for a weekend during the season?

The students participating in athletics become varsity ineligible and penalties will be administered because they did not totally vacate occupancy of their previous residence and have two residences.

 

Face Masks

• Do participants who are actually participating on the court/field/course have to wear a mask?

No, per the Governor’s directive those who are participating in strenuous activity do not have to wear a mask, but they can if they desire.

• Do members of a team who are substitutes on the bench/ sideline have to wear masks?

Yes – per clarification from the Governor’s office.

• Can a mask be multi-colored such as camouflage mask?

No, Facial coverings must be a single solid color and unadorned, except the mask can include the school logo/name and bear only a single manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference (partial or whole) that does exceed 2 ¼ square inches with no dimension exceeding 2 ¼ square inches.

• Do facial coverings have to match the other players or uniform colors?

No, they can be mixed as long as they meet the requirements.

• What if a team, player(s) or coach(es) are not wearing a mask?

The opponent should report that to the MHSA office as soon as possible. MOA officials are not responsible for enforcing the mask rule, but they should send a report to the MHSA/MOA office also.

• Can a piece of cloth (such as used for cold weather in football and soccer) be used as a mask?

Yes, if it continually covers the mouth and nose and meets the requirements for masks.

• Can a mask have a multicolored mascot or school logo?

Yes, if it is the school mascot or logo that is multi-colored.

• Are masks required for practice and when are they required before a contest?

For practices, athletes will be moving from drill to drill, etc. and do not need to wear a mask unless the school requires. The school can determine if coaches should wear masks during practice especially if not social distanced. Before contests, masks are required before warm-ups begin. Masks are required on the bus and until the players are in the locker room. Anytime a player is required to wear a mask, the mask must meet the MHSA requirements.

• What is the penalty for a team, player or coach not wearing a mask when they are required?

There will be a serious penalty as continual non-compliance could lead to the suspension of MHSA activities by local or state health authorities. Risking suspension in not an option.

 

Sport Specific FAQ’s

Volleyball

• Can a school schedule individual dual matches in the place of invitational tournaments that were cancelled?

Yes, as long as your team does not exceed the 18-match limit.

• Teams do not switch benches during a match, however do the teams still switch courts after each set?

No, teams stay on the same for court for the entire match.

• Will there be a coin flip on a deciding 5th set?

No, the coin flip has been eliminated entirely. The home team will serve first in the deciding set. Rationale: Most teams have an equal number of home and away matches, so there will be equal opportunity to serve first in the deciding set.

• For warm-ups, teams must remain at their bench during the opposing team warm-up time on the court. Can the off-court team warm-up by their bench or must they stay by the bench without continuing to warm-up?

The team not on the court is not allowed to warm-up during this time unless there is another gym available or space to allow for social distancing.

• Do substitutes that come in and out of the match often, such as the libero, need to wear masks when on the sideline?

If the substitute is going in and out on each play, they do not need to wear a mask. However, if they are on the sideline for a longer period of time, they would be required to wear a mask. We recommend a style of mask, such as a gator, that slips down on the neck and up onto the face easily.

 

Cross Country

• Is it 200 participants per race or per meet?

200 participants maximum per meet.

 

Golf

• Our golf team only has 2 girls. Are these girls required to golf in their own group? Can they join another school to have that group with a foursome of fivesome? Can these girls join boys from our own school?

We will allow these girls to combine with another school to maximize the groups on the golf course. Strict social distancing will be required. Girls cannot play with boys from their own school at any time.

 

Football

• Do substitutes that come in and out of the game often such as a receiver running in plays in football need to wear masks when on the sideline?

If the substitute is going in and out on each play, they do not need to wear a mask. However, if they are on the sideline for a longer period of time, they would be required to wear a mask. We recommend a style of mask, such as a gator, that slips down on the neck and up onto the face easily.

 

Spirit

• Can cheerleaders stunt this year?

Yes, as long as they follow all NFHS stunting requirements and wear a mask per USA Cheer and MHSA guidelines:

– Facial coverings must be a single solid color and unadorned, except the mask can include the school logo/name and bear only a single manufacturer’s logo/ trademark/reference (partial or whole) that does exceed 2 ¼ square inches with no dimension exceeding 2 ¼ square inches.

– Face coverings should be snug fitting.

– Face coverings should not impede vision or movement.

– Face coverings should be soft and pliable with no exposed metal and should provide adequate ventilation and protection from the spread of particulate matter.

– Modifications to skills should be considered while wearing face coverings, such as limiting inversions, twisting, and tosses.

Recommended Coverings:

– Coverings that are held in place with over-the-head straps using Velcro or other breakaway type connections.

– Full head coverings. – Coverings that minimize the chance of having fingers caught in them or shifting to impede any visual sight.

• Do cheerleaders have to wear mask for sideline cheer?

Masks must be worn during sideline cheering and all cheerleading/dance routines if social distancing specifications cannot be appropriately met.

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Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, October 1, 2020
First Thursday, 5 p.m., City of Laurel Council Chamber
Monday, October 5, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, October 8, 2020
2nd Thursday, 6 p.m., Council Chambers

The Laurel Outlook

 

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