AthleticsCOVID-19 - Coach and Athletic Departments

Information for Coaches and Athletic Department Personnel 

MCPS Athletics is committed to promoting the safe return of in-person out-of-season activities, incorporating state and local guidelines and recommendations, as soon as possible. The following information is provided to help guide coaches and athletic department personnel through during the coming school year and sports seasons along with a Frequently Asked Questions document. 

The Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan Phase 1 

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) developed the Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan Phase 1 to define the operating procedures for the interscholastic athletics program. These procedures will guide the safe return of the MCPS interscholastic athletics program, due to COVID-19. This initial phase will apply to the summer 2020 offseason, which begins May 30, 2020 following the Engagement of Activity (EOA) implementation phase. These procedures align with guidance from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Montgomery County health and safety mandates and recommendations. 

All Coaches and Athletic Department Personnel need to be aware of and adhere to the procedures. Please read the entire Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan Phase 1 document. These operating procedures provide guidance and interpretations of the MCPS Out-of-Season Participation Standards and Regulations that summarize MPSSAA and MCPS standards and regulations regarding out-of-season activities involving school teams and school coaches. Phase 1 includes information on:

  • Guiding Principles 
  • Summer Camps 
  • Conditioning Programs 
  • Virtual Optional Conditioning Opportunities 
  • Coaching/Instructing Returning Players on an Individual Basis 
  • Coaching/Instructing Returning Players Virtually on an Individual Basis 
  • Supporting the Well-Being of Students 
  • Note Regarding Non-School Teams 

Updates and Resources

The following updates provide clarity and additional information that coaches and athletic department personnel should know. 

  • At the unanimous recommendation of the COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics, MCPS will continue in Phase 1 of the Return to R.A.I.S.E. plan, which provides guidance for the virtual engagement of out-of-season activities and prohibits in-person activities, through August 11, 2020. Therefore all in-person summer conditioning and activities are cancelled through this time. 
  • COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators - The COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics and the 25 high school athletics specialists (ADs) unanimously recommend that all stipend coaches and athletic department personnel complete this National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) free online course.
  • Eligibility – the Montgomery County Board of Education took action on academic eligibility for extracurricular activities. The Board approved an exemption to the academic eligibility policy for 4th marking period during the 2019-2020 school year and the first semester for the 2020-2021 school year. Therefore, all secondary students are eligible now and will remain academically eligible for the first and second marking periods of the 2020-2021 school year.