If social distancing is still in place in some form in September, it’s unclear what sort of guidelines would be issued related to contact sports. The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association is expected to release its guidelines for fall sports teams, including football, sometime next week.
The governor has given the OK for youth and amateur sports to move forward with practices and workouts. We have to pay particularly close attention to the student-athlete who, because of the stay-at-home order, they might not have been training as they would have in the past, and they’re coming to us in completely different shape than they ordinarily would have, said NHIAA Executive Director Jeff Collins.
It’s up to each school district to give coaches final approval to practice. The governor has given us some guidelines, said Londonderry football coach Jimmy Lauzon. Our superintendent has told us there are certain things we need to follow, and then we are going to put in a proposal and they are going to say yes or no. Private school programs pose a different problem because their athletes come from different towns and, potentially, out of state.
But everybody in a parochial school in the public arena, everybody’s going home every single night, so there is going to be some concerns with that, said Bishop Brady football coach Tony Johnson. Medical experts also aren’t sure what the fall will look like. The goal is to have schools open in the fall, but what happens with sports and, specifically, close contact sports like football remains to be seen, said Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist. They’ve put a lot of hard work in not just our program, but every program, and we would love to see those guys get the chance to get out there and play some football one more time, Lauzon said.