NCAA issues third set of return-to-sport guidelines


The National Collegiate Athletic Association logo.

Sam Stuve

In a press release on Thursday, the NCAA announced its third set of guidelines to protect athletes from COVID-19 and the prevention of community spread of the virus. 

The new guidelines include daily self-health checks; “the appropriate use of” face coverings and social distancing during training, competition and outside of athletics; testing strategies for all athletics activities, including pre-season, regular season and post-season; and testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high-contact risk sports.

“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline said in the press release. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert commented on the document.

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

The full list of recommendations laid forth by the NCAA can be found here.