WIAA Issues Golf Safety Guidelines

SPORT-SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS FOR SPRING SPORTS

 

GOLF Safety Considerations

EQUIPMENT CONSIDERATIONS

Course and Other Equipment

  • Players should not touch the flagstick, bunker rakes or ball cleaning devices on the course.
  • Attending the flagstick—the flag stick shall remain in for all events. No players or coaches shall touch the flagstick and coaches will not be allowed on the greens.
  • Coaches can continue to use carts when allowed – course management is responsible for sanitizing carts before and after use.
  • Players should use their own equipment and golf balls. Players should not touch another player’s equipment or golf balls.
  • Gloves may be worn by athletes if desired.

Hole/Cups

  • Cup types shall be determined by the course management. Use of regular cups, cups with Styrofoam noodle ends or up-sidedown cups, etc., are all allowed.

Hygiene Considerations

  • Any equipment that is shared should be cleaned and disinfected prior to and immediately following each use and each meet. Be responsible for your own supplies.
  • Athletes, coaches, and officials are encouraged to provide their own hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and/or sanitizing wipes and use frequently.
  • Emphasize to avoid touching the face throughout practice and competition.
  • Spitting/Nose Clearing/Coughing – All athletes and coaches are prohibited from spitting/nose clearing and must cover coughs.
  • Athletes, coaches and staff should avoid touching doors, gates, fences, benches or other schools’ equipment.

General Reminders for Athletes

  • Personal Items – It is recommended that each athlete bring their own gym bag for personal items. Gym bags should be placed in a predetermined area 6 feet apart for the duration of the event. No shared clothing/shoes.
  • Athletes are encouraged to provide their own hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and use frequently.
  • Water bottle – All athletes shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles must not be shared.
  • Tell coaches immediately when you are not feeling well.

COMPETITION CONSIDERATIONS

WIAA Event Accountability

  • A tracing sheet and verification form shall be kept of all individuals traveling with the team to the contest verifying that the traveling party has been prescreened that day, before departure.
  • When departing for the contest, coaches take their tracing sheet and verification form, signed by the coach athletic director, acknowledging the tracing sheet’s accuracy. If a c

oach cannot, or does not produce the tracing sheet when verification is requested, it shall be reported to the WIAA office by the opposing coach.

Competition Structure

  • Consider scheduling adjustments to reduce the number of events, duration and/or participants present.
  • Contests that require less travel when possible should be considered.

Practice Range and Greens

  • Coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between players as much as possible. This means additional spacing between players while playing, chatting, or changing drills so that players remain spaced out, and no congregating of players while waiting to hit.

On Course Play

  • Only essential personnel are permitted on the course. These are defined as players, coaches, athletic trainers, and officials. All others, i.e., managers, video people, media photographers, etc. are considered non-essential personnel and are to be in the gallery remaining by the cart path (when present) or remaining at least 15 yards from the players.

Media/Press Area

  • All local social distancing and hygiene guidelines for spectators should be followed by media members planning to attend meets. Media members should contact host school administrators prior to arriving.
  • Local schools shall determine which personnel should be in the designated press area considering Wisconsin DHS guidelines.

Coach Conferences

  • Encourage limiting the number of individuals in a conference and/or huddle to those who must be in close proximity for these discussions. It is strongly encouraged that coaches wear a mask. 

Masks

  • Masks must be worn according to the governor’s mandate upon arrival to the venue and until the official warm-ups have started or a player is competing.
  • Masks must be appropriately worn at all times, particularly when moving or unable to socially distance.

o Coaches and officials must wear masks indoors and outdoors.

o Spectators must wear masks indoors and outdoors.

Social Distancing

  • Warm-ups/driving range– Maintain social distance between athletes.
  • Congregating of Athletes and/or Coaches – Discourage congregating upon arrival to the course, prior to warm-ups, and immediately following the competition.
  • Huddles – Social distancing to be maintained, as much as possible, when the coach is communicating with the entire team, or in smaller groups.
  • Elimination of Handshakes – Teams may find other respectful ways to acknowledge each other before or after a competition, while maintaining social distancing.
  • Tee Box – Allow only essential personnel in the competition area. These are defined as athletes, coaches, medical personnel/trainers, and marshal. All others (i.e. managers, photographers, media, etc.) are considered non-essential personnel and are not to be on the course.

Spectators

  • Follow county guidelines on limiting spectators.
  • Face covering requirements – Event personnel, media, and spectators must wear masks when moving or unable to socially distance.

○ Consider having masks available to purchase or to provide for those who may have forgotten to bring one.

  • Pedestrian flow – Create protocols and signage to address ingress and egress areas and high traffic areas to avoid congestion.

Consider using stanchions, tape or paint as a guide, communicate in advance and create signage.

COACHES CONSIDERATIONS

  • Coaches are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all times, especially when unable to maintain social distancing.
  • Communicate your guidelines in a clear manner to students and parents. Athlete safety is paramount.
  • Communicate expectations regarding minimizing the spread of the virus and the habits that will contribute.
  • Remind players to use hand sanitizer when prior to entering the course and after the last hole.
  • Follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the competition venue.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

Follow the USGA Back2Golf Operations Playbook and PGA Jr. League Guidelines:

https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/images/course-care/covid-19-resourcecenter/back2golf/back2golf_operations_playbook-version4-0-june10-2020.pdf

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX1vQ1oEw931iYxsVlBfmUtqcrOSTvIq2LX3ECgOyTSYADFFtEF0RATa5segvSi_zfF4MchVFVpFxNx51D/pub

WIAA Spring Sports Safety Recommendations

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]