Offseason volleyball workouts look a little different at Coahulla Creek High School this year.
Schools got a late start on offseason plans due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). When teams finally were able to begin workouts June 8, players weren't even allowed to touch a volleyball.
Beginning last week, that restriction was lifted from the Georgia High School Association rules for workouts, but social distancing, sanitizing and screening are all still a must.
"Monday of last week was the first day we could finally use balls," Coahulla Creek High School head volleyball coach Courtney Wilson said. "With distancing, we've had to implement a lot of drills where girls just use balls individually. It really just gives you time to get back to the basics and hone some skills."
Those distancing requirements limit what teams can do together as a squad. The GHSA still prohibits scrimmaging too, curtailing any further use of a volleyball beyond those basic individual drills.
"We've done a lot of footwork and ball-control work," Wilson said. "We've been able to get that foundation laid since we're not able to scrimmage yet."
Over at Dalton High School, the volleyball squad hasn't broken out the balls yet. Head coach Edis Krnjic gave his team the week off last week after two weeks of conditioning and lifting weights. This week is the GHSA's "dead week," meaning teams can't hold workouts.
"As with all the other sports, we started June 8 when we were first allowed," Krnjic said.
According to Krnjic, the restricted workout schedule has had minimal effects so far. His team usually spends much of the summer months focusing on conditioning. Where the restrictions do hurt, Krnjic said, are tryouts for new players.
"It makes it difficult on tryouts," Krnjic said. "If you're going to be 6 feet apart, you limit what you can do as far as seeing where the girls are."
Wilson said she appreciates the need for restrictions that help keep her players safe, but hopes a safe ease on controls can come soon.
"Hopefully once the restrictions lift, we'll be able to do a little bit more," Wilson said. "It's just been really good to get in the gym and see where everyone is at."