The Desert Sands Unified School District gave the green light for high school fall sports programs to start practicing again. Palm Desert high school has hit the ground running with this clearance by the school district.
All high school sports programs within the district are able to participate in limited phase one of team practice. The guidelines set by the district for phase one are as follows:
- – All players and coaches are screened prior to starting a practice by having their temperature taken
- – All practices must be held outside with groups no larger than ten per coach
- – Practices are limited to one-hour maximum
- – Players and coaches must maintain a distance of 6 feet for social distancing
- – No sharing of athletic equipment allowed
- – All players and coaches must bring their own water
In addition to these guidelines, within each program, the coaches will have to give their players daily screening tests. These tests require coaches to ask their players if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. Each coach is assigned the same, group of student-athletes that they must screen every single day to closely monitor changes in their health. All coaches were required to take NFHS COVID-19 training to know how to screen their players properly.
Palm Desert High School’s Athletic Director, Darol Salazar was excited to see the athletes back on the field and explains what guidelines each team must follow to ensure maximum player and coaches’ safety.
“Right now we are in phase one, it’s just conditioning, no shared equipment everybody has to wear a mask, they all have to bring their own water. We are supposed to start our winter season in December. We have to get to a phase where we can start to use balls, shared equipment, and things like that. We can get to phase two when we are back in the red. More team stuff we can do in the second phase.”
Salazar is referring to Riverside County’s red phase, the county is currently in the purple phase.
Student-Athletes are still excited for this small return of normalcy, as said by James Houston who is a senior baseball player for the Palm Desert Aztecs.
“With everything that we are going through during the summer not being able to hang out with anyone. Or just the fact that it was hard trying to find someone to play with. Getting the news that we are allowed to go back on the field even though all the guidelines, I mean I can say for the whole team we’re all pretty excited. ”
After the first day of practice, Salazar informed us that all players and coaches passed their temperature checks and screenings.