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UPDATE!! For Current Training per UIL/USA Wrestling Rules

More Explanation from THSWCA President Kyle Stevens explaining the progression of the Covid-19 UIL rules vs Texas USA Wrestling.

We are following up and providing an update to our current training opportunities that have developed over the past few weeks. As with this entire summer, this is a fluid situation and throughout the course of the summer things can change. We certainly appreciate the leadership standard the UIL is setting and the lead time that they have provided us to properly plan for training under these guidelines. The two biggest reasons for our previous and continued updates are to ensure the safety of our Texas wrestlers so that they can resume training and if any spike in COVID related illness occur it is not due to our negligence. Also we want to ensure that all Texas wrestling coaches are in compliance with published guidelines.

If you have not done so already, we recommend that you read fully all of the documents the UIL has published regarding strength and conditioning and sport specific training this summer. The UIL has permitted us to return to training beginning Monday 8 June. Of note regarding the sport specific training, athletes are limited to 90 min per day and no more than 60 minutes per sport. Outdoors students may be placed in working groups no larger than 15 total students, maintaining appropriate distance from other working groups. Indoors students may be placed in working groups no larger than 10 total students; also maintaining appropriate distance from other working groups. Regardless of indoor or outdoor, competitive drills involving one on one drills or group drill work is not permitted as athletes must keep a distance of ten feet in all directions when possible during activity. Specifically referenced in the documents for wrestling, “Wrestlers may skill and drill with no physical contact with other wrestlers.”

For those athletes training at USA Wrestling clubs, USA Wrestling restrictions mirror the UIL instructions. We are fortunate to have one of our own, Frisco Wakeland Coach Randall Balch, on the USA Wrestling COVID Committee. With current State of Texas restrictions on social distancing during training and ratios of athletes to coach restrictions we are currently still in Phase 3 of USA Wrestling return to mat guidelines. Those are the two key factors in determining training authorized by USA Wrestling. Once the distancing and athlete to coach ratios are removed, we will enter Phase 4. While under phase 3 USA Wrestling guidelines are clear that we are limited to individual NON-CONTACT wrestling activities (e.g. no hand-fighting and no partner drilling).

TX USA Wrestling has received authorization from USA Wrestling that tournaments can resume AFTER 15 June AND AFTER we enter phase 4. Again Phase 4 occurs once distancing and athlete to coach ratios are lifted. We are aware that TX USA Wrestling is proactively working on a plan for such tournaments. We expect that just as the UIL provided a lead-up time to resume school related training, TX USA Wrestling will communicate to us when we enter phase 4 and the opportunity for partner/contact drilling and similar related activities can resume.

The THSWCA is hopeful that everyone will follow the current non-contact restrictions so that healthy progress can be documented and the restrictions in place not permitting partner drilling can be lifted. USA Wrestling guidelines are already set to follow the path of each individual State. In talking with the UIL, we know they in communication with their higher-ups. As the Governor opens more things up during the summer hopefully they are done in a manner that allows the UIL to relax some of the current instructions.

We all certainly miss training with our athletes. Those of us with young children are certainly looking for ways to get them out of the house and back into athletics. That said, remember the long game. Any threats over the summer to health and safety of student-athletes could cause negative consequences. While I have my opinions of how things should go this summer and fall, I am a teacher and wrestling coach. I am not a medical doctor. These are the times for us to trust our leadership and those advising them.

UIL Guidelines: https://www.uiltexas.org/…/covid-19-strength-conditioning-2…

USA Wrestling Guidelines: https://content.themat.com/…/USAW-Return-to-the-Mat-Guideli…

Enjoy your day,

Kyle Stevens
THSWCA President