NHIAA Return to Sports Announcements UPDATED 8-6-20

UPDATED 8-6-20

The NHIAA Council met this morning and took the following actions regarding fall sports in the state of New Hampshire:

  1. First Date to Play: The Council unanimously approved the first date to play athletic contests in the state based upon the low, moderate, and high risk sport categories found in the NHIAA re-opening document.  The only modification to this concept was made for the sport of Cross Country.  Although classified as a low risk sport, the council felt that cross country needed additional time between the first date to practice and the first date to play to allow for the proper conditioning of the student-athletes. The first date to play games are as follows:

Sport

First Date to Practice

First Date to Play Low Risk Sports

First Date to Play Moderate Risk Sports

First Date to Play High Risk Sports

Bass Fishing

9/8/20

9/10/20

 

 

Cross Country*

9/8/20

 

9/18/20

 

Field Hockey

9/8/20

 

9/18/20

 

Football

9/8/20

 

 

9/25/20

Golf

9/8/20

9/10/20

 

 

Soccer

9/8/20

 

9/18/20

 

Unified Soccer

9/8/20

 

9/18/20

 

Spirit

9/8/20

 

 

9/25/20

Volleyball

9/8/20

 

 

9/18/20

 

*Although classified in the “Low Risk” category, the first date to play Cross Country was set to allow student-athletes additional time for conditioning prior to their first competition.

  1. Open Tournament: The NHIAA council unanimously approved the concept of open tournaments in the sports of Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, Unified Soccer, and Volleyball.  This action will allow the maximum amount of flexibility for our member schools to schedule and play contests this fall.  While more details will follow in the coming weeks regarding the tournament plan for each sport, the action taken today removes the mandate that schools must play a minimum number of games within their division in order to make the post-season tournament.   Schools are, therefore, free to pursue a more regionalized scheduling model, should they choose, without missing out on the ability to compete for a state championship.  Discussions about the structure of the post-season in the sports of Football and Golf will take place in the coming weeks.

The NHIAA Council, comprised of Principals, Athletic Directors, Superintendents, Coaches, and a State School Board Member, met this morning and took action on the following items:

  1. While the Council and the NHIAA do not decide if sports are offered, they did unanimously reaffirm the recognition of all the fall sports for the 2020-2021 school year.
  2. By unanimous consent, the Council approved NHIAA Return to Play Guidance document (Click here to view). New to this document was a third phase which includes practices, training sessions, competitions, games, and tournaments/jamborees. Guidelines vetted and approved by Governor Sununu’s Economic Re-Opening Task Force and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services provided the foundation upon which the NHIAA’s recommendations are based.
  3. Finally, the Council approved a delay to the start of fall sports. All fall sports will be permitted to begin practices on Tuesday, September 8th. Decisions on the first date to play contests will be forthcoming.

We recognize that returning to interscholastic competition this fall will be individual school decisions. We hope, however, that the guidelines provided by the state of New Hampshire, the NHIAA, and the actions taken thus far by the NHIAA Council will help schools and districts make informed decisions about what is best for their student-athletes this coming fall.