We take COVID-19 seriously and are taking precautions to help keep our Marlins family safe. We thank you for your patience as we work with our coaches, team and facilities to ensure the safest way to have a fun summer swim season.
Our coaching staff and board have experience in swim practices and meet procedures during the period of COVID-19, and we are happy to share our experiences with you. We plan to discuss our COVID plans at two upcoming Parent Meetings on March 29 and April 7.
Additionally, while our main facility is the Conroe ISD Natatorium, we are also looking into an additional facility at an open air pool in The Woodlands Township and will post additional information on this option as soon as it is available.
"The CDC is not aware of any scientific reports of the virus that causes COVID-19 spreading to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, water playgrounds, or other treated aquatic venues."
The CDC recommends the following for attending sporting events such as swimming:
- Wearing PPE (face masks)
- Social distancing (keep 6ft apart)
- Enhanced hygiene / sanitation
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and individuals with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
NWAL and the Marlins cannot prevent you (or your child(ren)) from becoming exposed to, contracting, or spreading COVID-19 while participating in USA Swimming sanctioned events. It is not possible to prevent the presence of the disease. Therefore, if you choose to participate in an NWAL sanctioned event, you may be exposing yourself to and/or increasing your risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
BY ATTENDING OR PARTICIPATING IN THIS COMPETITION, YOU VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 AND FOREVER RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS NWAL AND THE MARLINS EACH OF THEIR OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, EMPLOYEES OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVES FROM ANY LIABILITY OR CLAIMS INCLUDING FOR PERSONAL INJURIES, DEATH, DISEASE OR PROPERTY LOSSES, OR ANY OTHER LOSS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CLAIMS OF NEGLIGENCE AND GIVE UP ANY CLAIMS YOU MAY HAVE TO SEEK DAMAGES, WHETHER KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, FORESEEN OR UNFORESEEN, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.
The Marlins has taken enhanced health and safety measures for the participants, coaches, and volunteers. You must follow all posted instructions while on our property. An inherent risk of COVID-19 exists in any public or private place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By participating in this event you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
Conroe ISD Natatorium Practice Guidelines
EVERYONE entering and exiting the Natatorium is expected to wear a mask or face covering. Face coverings are also REQUIRED in all common areas, when interacting with others when physical distancing is difficult.
Entrance and exit doors will be separate and will be clearly marked to control the flow of people entering and exiting the Natatorium.
ONLY CISD staff members, long-term renter athletes, and coaches will be allowed in the Natatorium during practice.
All groups utilizing the Natatorium are required to maintain a daily log of the individuals belonging to or connected with their groups who are in the Natatorium. The log must contain the date, the name of each person, and the times each person entered and exited the Natatorium. The log must be turned into a Natatorium manager every day the group uses the Natatorium. The log will facilitate contact tracing should it become necessary.
Any reports of illness in any individual who was in the Natatorium must be immediately reported to a Natatorium Manager who will make a report to the District’s Health Services Department.
HAND SANITIZERS will be placed at the Natatorium entrance. Everyone entering the Natatorium is expected to sanitize their hands.
All equipment has been removed from the pool deck and will not be available for use, including storage cages, mats, bleachers, equipment bins, and dryland equipment.
Restroom access will be provided only in the Natatorium lobby, with no more than three people utilizing the restroom at one time. Restrooms may NOT be used as changing facilities.
Parents cannot enter the Natatorium and must remain in their vehicles when picking up and dropping of athletes.
NO CONGREGATING in the Natatorium lobby or on the pool deck, outside, or in the parking lot is allowed.
Any athlete or staff member indicating they or a family member are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms (see below) must be sent home and a report made to the Natatorium Manager. The Natatorium Manager will report the information to the District’s Health Services Department. All staff and athletes must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the Natatorium.
COVID-19 symptoms include any/all of the following:
- Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
- Chills or repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19.
Any individual who experiences, or lives with someone who is experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate until the following conditions are met:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery without the use of fever-reducing medications;
- The individual has improvement in symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath; and,
- At least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19 and MAY NOT RETURN to the Natatorium until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above.
ATHLETES CANNOT CHANGE CLOTHES in the Natatorium. They must arrive in their swimsuits and leave in their swimsuits.
Any dryland exercises must be conducted outside of the Natatorium and should follow social distancing guidelines.
Athletes can bring equipment bags with them, however the bags must be separated from others’ equipment bags. ATHLETES MUST take their bag with them when leaving the Natatorium.
Athletes cannot share training equipment.
Athletes should bring their own water bottle and not share at any time.
Coaches must maintain a distance of 6 feet from athletes and other coaches at all times.
Once practice concludes, athletes and coaches must leave the Natatorium from the designated exit. There can be no extra activity or congregating.
Groups should schedule with a time gap of no less than 10 minutes between sessions, and/or should stagger groups so that the groups are not arriving or departing at the same time.
Failure to comply with natatorium guidelines will face the following action from the Marlins:
Athletes who fail to comply with the above expectations risk being removed from the current practice and future practices.
- 1st failure to comply will result in the removal from the current practice
- 2nd failure to comply will results in the removal from practice for 3 days
- 3rd failure to comply will results in the removal from practice for 7 days
MARLINS Swim Meets COVID-19 procedures
Participants in the meet will abide by the Marlins COVID-19 Preparedness Plans for the Conroe ISD Natatorium. The meets will be conducted in compliance with local, state, CISD and NWAL COVID 19 restrictions.
Only coaches, officials, swimmers, and lane timers are allowed on the pool deck for the current session and will maintain current social distancing guidelines throughout the meet. Volunteers will be present to help enforce this rule.
Meet personnel will enter through the main doors of the Natatorium and proceed to volunteer check-in.
Swimmers will enter and exit the Natatorium through the main entrance of the Natatorium.
Parents must implement the Daily Self Screening for Swimmers Protocol that the Marlins has implemented. PARENTS MUST SCREEN swimmer(s) daily (prior to entering the swim meet) for the following signs and symptoms of COVID-19: 1. Are you experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal to you? Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.4F, loss of taste or smell, Cough, Difficulty breathing, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Headache, Chills, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Shaking or exaggerated shivering, Significant muscle pain or ache, Diarrhea, Nausea or vomiting, 2. Have you had known, close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14days? Swimmers, coaches, meet personnel, and spectators must stay home if they answer “yes” to any of the above.
Officials, coaches, volunteers, and swimmers must wear a face mask at all times except when swimmers are in the water. Masks should be worn up to the blocks, taken off just before climbing up to start the event, and put back on after getting out. Athletes are expected to social distance even while wearing masks. Failure to follow the mask guideline may result in the swimmer being removed from the pool deck and the rest of the meet. If a team has multiple swimmers that will not comply, the entire team may be asked to leave. The decision will be made at the discretion of the Natatorium staff.
Swimmers should plan on bringing extra face masks as theirs may get wet. Swimmers should also bring a plastic baggie with their name on it to put their mask in at the blocks.
Lane timers will remain socially distanced and masked for all sessions. One lane timer will be assigned to each lane and will be distanced more than 15 feet from the blocks and 7 1⁄2 feet from the closest lane timer.
Bleachers will be provided with spots marked for athletes to sit and avoid overcrowding. Swimmers may also bring their own chair as long as they remain socially distanced at all times. Swimmers may sit with their siblings or family outside of the Natatorium. Swimmers must be aware of the meet progress to be sure they do not miss an event. An estimated timeline will be provided on the Marlins website prior to the meet.
Bring a filled water bottle for your session. Bottled water will be for sale, but the water fountains will be unavailable.
Locker rooms will be allowed, but swimmers are required to wear their masks and maintain social distancing at all times.
Spectators will be allowed at 50% capacity. Every other row of bleachers will be marked as closed, and spectators should sit in the open rows in their groups only, with appropriate social distance.
Meets will use a one direction flow of swimmers behind the blocks, with ready bench areas as well. Each team will be given a section of the deck for seating.
All meets will have the deck sectioned off near the start end of the pool where only current heat and next heat swimmers will be allowed to enter.
SAFETY GUIDELINES AND WARM-UP PROCEDURES
A. General warm-up (Initial portion [1/2] of the warm-up session or with the agreement of all of the coaches in a particular lane.)
- NO DIVING OR RACING STARTS allowed from the blocks edge of the pool. Swimmers must enter the pool feet first cautiously.
- NO SPRINTING OR PACE WORK allowed during this general warm-up session.
B. Specific warm-up (Last portion [1/2] of the warm-up session or with the agreement of all of the coaches in a particular lane.)
- RACING STARTS ONLY, either from blocks or from backstroke starts.
- Lanes are ONE WAY ONLY.
- Equipment including, but not limited to, kickboards, paddles, fins, snorkels, parachutes, etc. are prohibited in the warmup pool
- The warmup/warm down pool will close 15 minutes after the conclusion of the last event.
A. Swimmers Responsibilities
- All swimmers without a registered coach to observe them at the meet, and/or their coaches, should arrange, prior to their arrival at the meet, for a registered coach to observe them during the warm-up, competition and warm-down. Any unattached or unattended swimmers who have not made previous arrangements with a coach to observe them at the meet will not be allowed on deck and will not compete in the meet.
B. Coaches Responsibilities
- Coaches shall instruct their swimmers regarding safety guidelines and warm-up procedures as they apply to conduct at meets and practice.
- Coaches shall stand near the starting end of the pool when starting swimmers on sprint and pace work.
- Coaches shall actively supervise their swimmers throughout the warm-up session.
- Coaches shall maintain as much contact with their swimmers as possible, both verbal and visual, throughout the warm-up period.
- Registered coaches of unattached swimmers and registered coaches of non-Gulf teams should notify the meet host by the entry deadline if they will be at the meet, so that they may be assigned to a warm-up lane.
C. Safety Marshals
- Appointed Safety Marshals are members of USA Swimming and have the authority to remove from the deck for the remainder of the warm-up session, any swimmer or coach who is in violation of safety guidelines or warm-up procedures. THE MEET REFEREE MAY EXERCISE ADDITIONAL ADJUDICATION AUTHORITY AS NECESSARY.
- Swimmers should be reminded by coaches that breaststrokers need more lead time than freestyle or butterfly swimmers.
- Backstrokers shall ensure that they are not starting at the same time as a swimmer on the blocks. Swimmers shall not step up on the starting blocks, when a backstroker is waiting to start.
- Swimmers shall not jump or dive into the pool to stop another swimmer on a recalled start.
- Swimmers are required to exit the pool upon completion of their warm-up to allow other swimmers adequate warm-up time. The pool is not for visiting or playing during warm-up periods.
- Warm-up procedures shall be enforced for any breaks, scheduled or otherwise, during the competition.
- All diving boards and equipment are OFF LIMITS.
E. Pool Rules
- Smoking or use of other tobacco products is not allowed on the grounds.
- Glass containers are prohibited.
- Swimmers, coaches, and spectators are expected to observe all rules and regulations included in the announcement.
The CISD Natatorium
Rules, Regulation, Prohibitions, and Deck Access
- All participants must follow the CDC “Healthy swimming policy” and shower before warm-up, no exception.
- Shaving is not permitted anywhere within the entire CISD Natatorium Complex.
- No chewing gum, food or color-based drinks will be allowed on the pool deck, water only.
Security personnel are empowered to enforce any and all regulations established by CISD Natatorium Policy.
Only participants, coaches, event administrators, and event volunteers are allowed on the pool deck – all spectators and parents must remain in the grandstand.
Participants in swimsuits are not allowed in the Grandstand-seating area. Participants and spectators are not allowed to lean against glass the rails, climb over banisters / railings, or pass any posted barriers.
Participants and spectators are not allowed to use other areas of the CISD Natatorium complex during this event without securing a pass at the Services Desk located in the facility lobby.
Lawn Chairs are not allowed in the CISD Natatorium Grandstand-seating area, Stadium seats shall not exceed 17” wide x 13”deep.
Each competing team is permitted one temporary banner, placed at the discretion of the Aquatic Director. Team banners must not exceed 5’ by 8’. No handmade signage is allowed.
Absolutely no tobacco, alcohol products, or glass containers are allowed on Conroe School District property. This applies to the parking lot.
Spectators are allowed (1) Cooler for medical use only, dimensions not to exceed 13” wide x 11” deep x 12” tall. The cooler must be placed directly under their seating area. Participants /Teams are allowed an Ice-Chest (1) PER GENDER on the deck provided they do not contain glass items; bottled water is allowed.
Betting and gambling is strictly prohibited.
Teams are expected to police their respective areas at the conclusion of the competition.
Participating or any activity that can be interpreted or described as “risky” or “horseplay” is prohibited throughout the entire CISD Natatorium Complex.
Diving equipment such as trampoline, spotting rigs, dry-board apparatus, and the warm-pool are not to be used unless authorized by the CISD Natatorium Director.
The use of flash cameras or noisemakers at the start, during or end of any race is prohibited.
Blocking or restricting fire lanes or emergency exits, and the use of emergency exits for nonemergency use is prohibited.
Access to the deck of the CISD Natatorium is restricted by pass to the following:
- Athletes from competing teams
- Administrative support personnel
- Coaches of competing teams
- Facility/District Staff
- Timing System operators
- Security personnel
- Computer systems operators
- Lane timers
- Service and supply vendors
- Credentialed media personnel
- Hospitality personnel
- Medical support personnel
- Other personnel on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Meet Coordinator, the Meet Director, or the Meet Referee.
Conroe ISD Healthy Swimming Policy
CISD is committed to the health and safety of all patrons. The CISD Natatorium utilizes advanced training and technology and has adopted the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) “Healthy Swimming Policy”. This policy protects our patrons and spectators from poor air or water quality hazards typical with indoor-swimming pools caused by microorganisms and chloramines. The cornerstone of this policy is based on guidelines which mandate safe practices such as requiring all participants to shower before entering the CISD Natatorium.