After a full calendar year without track and field, NH is preparing for its return at the end of March!!! This is incredible news as we find ourselves on the right side of the statistics regarding cases, hospitalizations and vaccine distribution. As NH proved, sports can be conducted quite safely following protocols. Especially events which are outdoors as with NH Cross Country’s successful Division Meets and Meet of Champions back in the late fall. These meets were outdoor gatherings with the number of athletes ranging from 215-255 at one time together. Following that season’s mantra of figuring out what we can do, rather than focusing on what we can’t, we can certainly do this with Track and Field! After all, as we generate this post, huge indoor meets, outdoor meets, and even winter XC are happening safely across our country, following protocols of course, in places with dense populations. It seems as if we are in a much better situation compared to the start of Cross Country.
With that said, the NHIAA and Outdoor Track and Field Committee are working out details for State Championships and Meet of Champions and should be releasing TF COVID Guidelines by the end of the week. This should help schools and athletic departments with scheduling and planning track and field meets this spring. We will be posting specific parts to this once the official guidelines are released but expect to see certain items.
Season’s start is delayed only 1 week to March 29th, with competitions able to begin 2 weeks later. Meets are being scheduled and seemingly are following the blueprint of the success of Cross Country with 2-3 teams per meet on a regional basis. After a full year with no track, this is phenomenal for all kids, especially the beginners of our sport. This guarantees around 6 weeks of competition prior to state championships. The first in 12 months (yes we are being redundant, because it is exciting)!!!
Although it is looking like no invites will be scheduled, which certainly hurts the top varsity kids, creative ideas meant to facilitate top level competition are being offered/generated with less events/entries to follow protocols. Look for varsity mini meets to crop up across the state.
Obviously expect masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing everywhere. Expect one more season of no spectators. Expect field events to look different with flights comprised of specific teams. Expect meets to be done efficiently and in a relatively short time. And expect NewHampshireTrackandField.com to cover it all!!! More specific posts to come!