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Additional details announced on how GRPS will resume fall sports

It was announced Thursday, Sept. 10 that GRPS would resume all fall sports.
Credit: AP
Thrall High School football player Hayden Stefek wears a face mask as he goes through a practice, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Thrall, Texas. Texas will play high school football this fall, but some of it will be delayed, fans will be limited and masks will be required as the state continues to fight a surge in new coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Public Schools will resume fall sports with strict health and safety protocols in place.

It was announced Thursday, Sept. 10 that GRPS would resume all fall sports. Superintendent Dr. Leadriane Roby said feedback from students, parents and coaches was taken into consideration and that the final decision was made for sports to resume with safety measures in place.

“Our student athletes have been practicing voluntarily throughout the summer with safety protocols and health screenings. Golf, tennis and cross country have already been in competition. In accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order, effective immediately, football, soccer, volleyball, swimming and sideline cheer will also resume,” Roby said.

“We are committed to following the guidelines set forth by Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan High School Athletic Association.”

The initial announcement didn’t provide much context surrounding the specific health and safety protocols planned, but an announcement Saturday provided a list of new details about re-engaging fall sports.

Most notably, the school district stated it will be following guidelines set forth by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan High School Athletic Association, including the use of face masks during competitions where six feet of social distance can’t be maintained.

Below is the list of guidelines, as provided by GRPS:

  • Football, volleyball, boys’ soccer, girl’s swimming/diving, cross country, tennis and golf will all resume with strict protocol guidelines that coaches, students, and parents will be required to follow.
  • We will be following all guidelines set forth by the Governor's Office and MHSAA which now includes the wearing of face masks during competitions where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. While there are ongoing conversations regarding who should have to wear masks during actual competitions, we will follow the law as currently order. The expectation is that all coaches will comply with the law.
  • We will continue with daily pre-screening protocols and reporting (started summer 2020).
  • We will continue to follow all health and safety routines established for practices (summer 2020).
  • We will be following all additional guidelines with OK conference member schools that are also re-engaging in fall sports.
  • We will be maintaining and improving (if needed) current practices around health and safety protocols that are in use.
  • We will be ensuring competition facilities meet or exceed health and safety guidelines.
  • We will make certain (to the degree possible) visiting teams are following all protocols prior to arriving at our facilities and while at our facilities (providing visiting teams and spectators expectation standards prior to arrival).
  • We will be implementing a signage campaign that indicates our expectations for all attendees
  • We will ensure all transportation guidelines are strictly followed to and from away events.
  • We will be limiting spectators to "Parents/Guardians Only" for all home events (up to 2 parents and/or legal guardians which includes visiting teams as our home spectator standard).
  • There will be no admission cost for parents for fall sports.
  • No concessions will be available at this time.

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