Reopening Guidelines Released For Youth Sports In Massachusetts
BOSTON (CBS) -- Guidelines for youth and adult amateur athletics were released Monday. Youth football and soccer will not be playing games during Phase 3 of reopening in Massachusetts.
Sports with less contact, such as baseball, will be able to hold practices and games, just not tournaments.
Coaches, referees, and umpires must wear masks, along with players when they are not actively participating. No more than 25 players are allowed on a single playing area.
The state separated activities into three risk levels. Lower risk sports, such as yoga, tennis, and swimming, are done individually or have the ability to social distance. Moderate risk sports, including baseball, volleyball, and dance, involve some contact but there is protective equipment that can be worn by players to mitigate transmission. High risk sports, like soccer, ultimate frisbee, and football, have sustained close contact.
While lacrosse is a high risk sport, no-contact lacrosse is a moderate risk sport.
Lower risk sports will have the greatest flexibility when it comes to how much kids will get to play. High risk sports will follow more restrictions.
The state established for levels of play, they are:
- Level 1: Individuals or socially distanced group activities (no-contact workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work, and drills)
- Level 2: Competitive practices (intra-team/group games, contact drills, scrimmages)
- Level 3: Competitions (inter-team games and meets)
- Level 4: Tournaments (outdoor only)
Lower risk sports can play at all levels. Moderate sports can play at levels 1, 2, and 3. High risk sports can only play at level 1.
Spectators must also social distance and wear masks.
"The most frustrating thing is we've been working for months to get to Phase 3 because Phase 3 was games. We got no games," said Dave Geaslen of 3 Step Sports, a 34-state youth sports operation. He served on the state's advisory panel.
"This is the most restrictive state in the country," he said. "They cut us out of the process."
A 500-team basketball tournament that was scheduled for this weekend in Middleton had to be moved to New Hampshire.
"We'll go back to playing sports sooner or later, it's how many people can survive until we play again," said Geaslen.
According to Geaslen, half of state's 150 ice rinks may have to file for bankruptcy if the current restrictions keep up for long.
He also believes local kids that can afford it will play club sports in neighboring states. "That's 10% of the kids. The other 90% don't get to play sports. That's just not fair.
For all of the guidelines, visit mass.gov.
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