Most of you are aware of the events that took place last Thursday-Friday evening with regards to the Elkhart County Health Department initially banning the start of in-person school AND extra-curricular activities until the end of September.
Most of you have probably also heard that the department had a change of heart and on Friday afternoon, in a reversal of ruling, they would allow Elkhart County Schools to begin face-to-face instruction as had been initially approved of earlier in the summer and been planned for by school administrators.
School extra-curricular activities were not so lucky. While the ban is not going to be nearly as long as expected, all school based extra-curricular activities will be throttled through Aug 24th. This is true for all sports that have some sort of contact with other individuals involved (Football, Volleyball, Soccer) and also sports that cannot safely be practiced and maintain a 6 foot exclusion zone (Cross-Country, Doubles Tennis). The only sport that will not be affected by this ban is Girls Golf. By the nature of the sport, the girls are far apart and can easily maintain the 6 foot standard. Marching band will continue to be allowed to practice as they also can (by formation) maintain the 6 foot standard.
Jimtown Athletics has been practicing under our phased in re-engagement plan since July 6th. While the social distancing, mask wearing and sanitizing consistency is still being worked on by our teams, I am pleased to report that to this date, we have not had any reported positive cases of Covid 19 among Jimtown Athletes. We are sure that this will eventually NOT be true and we will have to enact contact tracing and quarantine measures within that team. We are prepared for this.
Despite the fact that Jimtown has not had a positive case, Friday’s decision by the Elkhart County Health Board boils down to this right now:
- We will lose our football jamboree at Goshen on Aug 15th
- We will lose our opening football game vs Northwood on Aug 21
- Several Boys Tennis matches for the week of Aug 17th will be rescheduled (please see jimtownathletics.org by the end of next week to see updated schedules)
- Volleyball scrimmage set for Aug 13th is cancelled
- Several Volleyball matches set for the week of Aug 17th will be rescheduled or cancelled
- Several soccer matched set for the week of Aug 17th will be rescheduled or cancelled
- Several Cross-Country events set for the week of Aug 17th will be cancelled, (this includes the NIC Stomp which was to be hosted by Jimtown at Ox-Bow Park on Aug 22)
- All girls golf matches will proceed as scheduled
- All fall sports practices will return to phase 1 of our plan, which includes 6 foot distances, no contact or scrimmaging, no bumping into other players, no touchy of any kind.
The Elkhart County AD’s have been meeting regularly online (Zoom) as a group for the last several weeks so that all of the schools can be on the same page and we are all doing the same things. Here is a press release that was put out by the Elkhart County AD’s Friday evening after the decision by the Health Department:
“In light Public Health Order 04-2020 issued by the Elkhart County Health Department on August 7, 2020,
the Elkhart County public school athletic directors met on August 7 to discuss the impact on high school
All seven Elkhart County public high schools have received clearance from their superintendents to
resume practices immediately, provided the rules laid out in the Public Health Order are met. Head
coaches will be instructed on how these rules affect each of their particular sports.
As a result of this order, all controlled scrimmages, jamborees, and contests in football, volleyball, cross
country, and soccer have been suspended through August 24. Schools will work with their individual
opponents in each sport to determine if the affected contests will be rescheduled for a later date or be
Because the six foot distancing requirement can be met, boys tennis may conduct scrimmages with
singles play only. Girls golf contests will continue as scheduled.
We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”