Guidance describes ground rules for school, adult sports
BOSTON (SHNS) – Soccer, competitive cheerleading, basketball, ice hockey, and wrestling are among the activities at the highest level of risk in new state guidelines on amateur sports for young people and adults, falling into a category where games, matches and competitive practices be allowed with new modifications in place.
the advice, from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, went live on Thursday and takes effect Monday.
“For the avoidance of doubt, these guidelines apply to K-12 school and other youth sports activities,” the document said.
Aimed at facility operators and organizers of sports and activities for youth and adults, the guide classifies sports into three levels of risk of COVID-19 transmission, based on the number of close contacts required or expected, with different limits for each.
Facility operators and activity organizers “should require all participants to wear face coverings”, except where a distance of six feet or more between participants is possible, for those who cannot wear face coverings. mask due to a disability or health problem, or during “high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities, swimming, water polo, aqua aerobics or other sports where individuals are in water, ”says the guide.
“Some sports, by their nature, involve intense aerobic activity throughout the game. For these sports it is necessary for players to use face coverings when possible, taking frequent breaks when they are out. proximity to other players being careful to avoid touching the front or inside of the face cover when using the clips or earrings to remove replace, ”says the guide. “For example, football players should have a face covering with them at all times and, if possible, play with the face covering, removing it for long runs on the field, for games without close contact and in the field. goal ; baseball / softball hitters must wear a face covering when at bat; lacrosse or hockey players participating in face-offs must wear face coverings.
The guidelines allow low-risk activities, such as tennis, golf, gymnastics and cross-country, to organize individual or socially distant group activities, competitive training, competitions and outdoor tournaments. Individual crew, sailing and biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, surfing, pickleball, motorsports, and non-contact exercise classes are also listed as examples in the “low risk” category. “.
For the other two risk levels, competitive practices and competitions are only permitted with modifications in place. Players can participate in individual or remote activities such as non-contact workouts, aerobic conditioning, and exercises as the sport is traditionally played.
Sports such as baseball and softball, team swimming, volleyball, soccer, fencing and field hockey are considered to be moderate risk, as are running clubs and dancing lessons.
The high risk category includes football, basketball, competitive cheering, ice hockey, wrestling, boxing, martial arts, rugby, pairs figure skating, and ultimate frisbee.
The guidelines indicate that “lacrosse” is high risk and “girls’ lacrosse” is moderate risk.
Modifications to games and competitive practices for high and moderate risk sports included staggered starts for races; elimination of deliberate contacts such as tackles and body checks; and modifications or elimination of intermittent contacts such as scrums. Some intermittent contact, such as face-offs, could occur if each player involved wears a mask.
“Modifications should strive to keep participants 6 feet from each other for the majority of the game and should eliminate any deliberate contact,” says the guide.
Sports and activities that cannot implement such changes to limit contact or increase distance would not be able to host matches, fixtures or games, as directed, but could still train under certain circumstances.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement posted on twitter that he was aware of the updated state directives and that he was awaiting “accompanying directives from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education”.
The MIAA Board of Directors plans to meet within three working days of the publication of the DESE guidelines.