2/15/20 Polar Plunge, Purdue Pete

Purdue Pete high-fives a young girl at the 2020 Polar Plunge.

Tippecanoe County health officials have released specific guidance related to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's order last week for community recreational sport leagues or teams. They include:

1) Non-contact sports such as baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf, soccer, swim, and other similar sports, may conduct practices, drills and conditioning but not compete with other teams in games, meets or tournaments.

2) Contact sports, meaning sports where players typically come into contact with other players during play such as football, basketball, rugby or wrestling, are not permitted. But conditioning and non-contact drills for such sports may take place.

3) The social gathering limits and requirements for players and spectators combined are followed. Up to 100 people are allowed.

County officials also offer this advice, according to the news release:

1) Athletes, coaches, referees, parents, and spectators with any of the symptoms listed below should not attend practices or games. A coach or administrator who observes an individual displaying any of these symptoms should immediately remove the individual from the event:


Fever of 100.4 degrees or greater

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Muscle pain


Sore throat

New loss of taste or smell

2) At-risk individuals. People ages 65 and older and those with health conditions should not attend practices or games.

3) Face coverings. Athletes, coaches, referees, parents, and spectators should wear face coverings during practices and games.

4) Social distancing. Social distancing of 6 feet should be maintained on the sidelines and during warmups, timeouts, and pre/post game rituals. The number of spectators should be limited and seating for spectators should be arranged to maintain social distancing. Signage about proper social distancing should be posted throughout the site. Facilities should have personnel available to monitor for appropriate social distancing.

5) Facilities. Hand-washing stations and/or hand sanitizer should be readily available. Signage about proper and frequent hand-washing/hand sanitizing should be posted throughout the site. Facilities and commonly touched surfaces should be frequently cleaned and disinfected. Locker rooms and showers should be closed. Concession stands may not open. Water fountains should be closed.

6) Physical contact. All athletes and coaches should avoid "high fives," handshakes, team huddles, and other types of physical contact outside of the usual and customary contact of the sport. Drinks should not be shared.

Examples from the NFHS Guidance for Opening High School Athletics/Activities Sports Med Advisory Committee:

- A basketball player can shoot with a ball(s), but a team should not practice/pass a single ball among the team where multiple players touch the same ball.

- A football player should not participate in team drills with a single ball that will be handed off or passed to other teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed, and there should be no sharing of tackling dummies/donuts/sleds.

- A volleyball player should not use a single ball that others touch or hit in any manner.

- Softball and baseball players should not share gloves, bats, or throw a single ball that will be tossed among the team. A single player may hit in cages, throw batting practice (with netting as backstop, no catcher). Prior to another athlete using the same balls, they should be collected and cleaned individually.

- Wrestlers may skill and drill without touching a teammate.

- Cheerleaders may not practice/perform partner stunts or building. (Chants, jumps, dances without contact are permissible.)

- Tennis players may do individual drills, wall volleys and serves.

- Runners should maintain the recommended 6 feet of distancing between individuals

7) Equipment. Athletes should bring their own gear and equipment, including game balls, water bottles, towels, etc. The handling of all training items, i.e., cones, flags, goals etc. should be limited to coaches. Shared equipment should be frequently disinfected.

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