Recreational and youth sports are set to resume in Vermont starting June 15 — with restrictions.
Beginning next week, some organized sports may restart expanded team practices and intrasquad scrimmages with an anticipated target date of July 1 for the return of games, Gov. Phil Scott announced during Monday’s news conference.
“Like everything else, this will obviously look a little different than normal, but we must find new ways of doing things so we can get back to something more familiar while keeping people safe and healthy,” Scott said.
The guidelines are “meant for recreational sports, not for professional or college-level leagues and teams,” Scott said.
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The guidance from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development only allows sports of no or low-contact (such as tennis) and short-duration, incidental contact (such as soccer, softball, baseball, lacrosse, volleyball, hockey) to resume their programs.
However, high-contact sports such as basketball, football and wrestling are limited to conditioning and skill-building drills.
The phased rollout “gives teams time to ramp up, get back to playing with each other and staying close to home,” said Lindsay Kurrle, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
“For me, I feel this is a great way we can safely allow people to get back out and return to the sports they love and miss so much,” Kurrle said. “This is a really good start, I’m exciting about it.”
What are the guidelines?
The ACCD’s recommendations include:
- Team practices and scrimmages cannot exceed current limits on social gatherings (25 or fewer individuals).
- Spectators should be limited as much as possible and cannot exceed social gathering limits.
- All players, coaches, officials, staff and spectators must have a cloth facial covering in their possession to be used, as necessary, when physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Face coverings should be worn as much as possible.
- During competition, alter spacing of participants, officials and coaches to achieve physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.
- Equipment, and other supplies touched by participants, must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly. Limit sharing equipment as much as possible.
- No spitting on the field or sideline and no sharing of water bottles.
- Players from bordering states are allowed to participate, but must follow the state’s recreational visitation guidelines.
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