Durham Public Schools to resume with 'soft reopening' for volleyball, cross-country

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Friday, October 23, 2020
Durham Public Schools allowing return for some high school sports
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Football is not included in the list of sports allowed to return to competition within the district.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Only two sports -- cross-country and volleyball -- will be allowed to resume -- without fans -- in late October, the Durham Public School Systems (DPS) announced Thursday.

During a Thursday night board of education meeting, members voted 5-2 to approve a "soft reopening" of the two sports. This decision comes after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association authorized the return to athletics competition under "carefully controlled circumstances."

"We're extremely excited for our student-athletes to have a sense of normalcy with the return of athletics," said David Hackney, Director of Athletics, Health and Physical Education, & Drivers Education. "We appreciate the school board for allowing this opportunity."

RELATED: 'Happy to be back': Wake County high school sports underway after long break

DPS said cross-country and volleyball workouts will start the week of October 26 and have their first sporting event on November 16. If successful, DPS will consider allowing other sports to begin this process of reopening.

In the case of a COVID-19 resurgence, DPS said it has developed a plan to alert the proper personnel. For safety measures, the school system said they will follow state and local guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. Locker rooms will be closed in the early phases and training rooms will be closed until further notice.

Infographic provided by the Durham Public School System

The plan restricts non-conference games to bordering counties.

DPS said that during the beginning phases, no fans will be allowed at indoor or outdoor events. If and when fans are able to attend events, tickets will be distributed both online and in-person, there will be separate entries and exits, six-foot social distancing markers will also be in place for spectator seating areas and at entries; masks will also be required.

The video used in this article is from a previous story, stay tuned for updated footage.