As high schools across the country put together return to play guidelines for fall sports, club basketball is moving ahead with its summer schedule.
Run 4 Roses, the largest girls club basketball event in the country, is scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee from July 6-8. The event usually is held in Louisville, Kentucky, but Tennessee has reopened faster than Kentucky so event organizers opted for a location change.
School administrators, coaches and fans will be paying close attention to how this tournament — and many others across the country — deals with social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
HERE’S WHAT THE EVENT WILL LOOK LIKE
The tournament will take place at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. There will be 32 courts. A master layout has been created that will allow for spectator social distancing and much more open space than at usual tournaments.
There will be no bleacher seating available. Instead, there will be two rows of chair seating on both sides of each court with each chair at least six feet apart. Some courts inside the Music City Center will be used for seating instead of playing in order to maintain social distancing measures.
There will be clearly marked entrances and exits stocked with hand sanitizer.
The courts will be spaced far enough apart — 33 feet from baseline to baseline and 27 feet from sideline to sideline — to create maximum walkway space and allow for social distancing for anyone traversing the facility.
Everyone who enters the facility will be subject to a thermal imaging temperature check. Anyone with a 100.4 degree temperature reading will be asked to take a second ear temperature test. If the second test shows a fever, admittance will not be allowed for that individual.
There will be no onsite check in for players as part of the registration process. This will all be done online so that proper social distancing is maintained.
Due to the decreased number of courts, event organizers will only be allowing 700 teams to participate this year, down from approximately 1,100 last year.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR FALL HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Run 4 Roses event organizers are taking necessary precautionary measures to put on their event.
There won’t be any 700-team high school sports events in any sport in 2020-2021 in California, but school districts and private school heads will still need to take similar precautions in order for high school sports to return in the fall.
As we’ve reported in the past, in person academics will almost certainly need to occur first in order for sports to be played. Once it is safe for academics and athletic practices to begin, athletes will need to be screened before every workout, including a temperature check.
Can school districts and private schools afford the equipment necessary to make that happen? Who will be liable if a student athlete tests positive for coronavirus and it can be traced to a practice?
In a statement last week, LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner admitted that he is “concerned about legal liability of reopening schools and someone getting sick.”
Another question that must be answered is that when games begin, can districts and private schools afford the equipment costs to allow fans to attend if fans’ temperatures need to be checked in order to enter a facility?
These are all questions and concerns that school administrators are working to answer. The high school sports world will keep a watchful eye on the July club basketball circuit to see what lessons can be learned.