Sumter School District to allow fall sports Phase 1.5 conditioning beginning Tuesday


Sumter School District will allow its fall sports teams begin Phase 1.5 conditioning on Tuesday, according to Superintendent Dr. Penelope Knox-Martin in a release on Monday morning.

That means student-athletes at Sumter, Crestwood and Lakewood high schools will be allowed to begin preparations for their upcoming seasons. While the South Carolina High School League told its members it could begin Phase 1 conditioning in early June after the shutdown to the coronavirus pandemic at the end of the 2019-20 school year, Sumter School District had not allowed its student-athletes to participate in any kind of conditioning.

The SCHSL allowed the schools that had been holding conditioning workouts to move from Phase 1 to Phase 1.5 in the last few weeks. While Phase 1 was limited to conditioning and weightlifting, Phase 1.5 allows pieces of equipment for the respective sports to be implemented into the workouts.

The following is the release from Superintendent Knox-Martin:

Beginning Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Sumter School District will begin phase 1.5 of conditioning for high school fall sports. Our top priority is the health and safety of our employees and staff. We will continue to monitor data from DHEC and exercise safety measures that have been put in place by CDC and DHEC and outlined in our high school return to play plans. The South Carolina High School League has established a schedule for the start dates for practices; however, these dates will be contingent upon the high risk COVID-19 status in the Sumter community.  We ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to implement procedures to safeguard our athletes and staff. 

Our high schools are taking all required precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. The district has cleaning schedules in place for all facilities to mitigate the spread of germs. Students and employees will be required to follow guidelines such as frequent handwashing, temperature checks, wearing face coverings, and practicing social distancing.  

These procedures do not guarantee that the transmission of the COVID-19 will not occur. There is still a risk of transmission and contracting COVID-19 or other illnesses. Students who either have pre-existing medical conditions that place them at higher risk of infection or who do not want to risk contracting COVID-19 should refrain from participating in these activities until further notice. 

A list of important guidelines follows:

  • Parents will sign a waiver prepared by the district in order for their student to participate in any activity. 
  • All staff and athletes will be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to each practice. 
  • All athletes, coaches, and staff will be required to wear a face covering. 
  • All athletes and staff should continue to follow current CDC advice related to COVID-19 prevention including staying home when sick, washing hands frequently, avoiding touching face, and practicing social distancing.
  • Athletes should bring personal water bottles and face masks to each workout and not share these items with anyone. There can be no shared water, food, face masks, sunscreen/lotions, make-up products, etc.
  • Facilities and high touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized often. 
  • Staff will monitor heat conditions and have Emergency Action Plans in place for all activities. 
  • Group sizes for conditioning  should be limited to 16 persons per facility including coaches and staff.
  • When using weight rooms, practicing calisthenics, running, or other conditioning training where vigorous exercise occurs, proper spacing from others must be maintained by working out with a 12 foot minimum between each person. (This may require restricting the use of or moving some equipment.)

Please contact your child’s head coach or the school’s athletic director with specific questions about your child’s sports activities.