Youth sports guidance posted, games can start Friday

-A A +A

Youth sports guidance posted, games can start Friday

Wed, 02/10/2021 - 12:48pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine ACCD and the Agency of Education (AOE) have posted guidance for the resumption of organized indoor youth and scholastic sports. This guidance is effective February 12th with strict restrictions in place, including the number of games that can be played in a week and that no spectators will be permitted. Find the youth sports guidance on the ACCD website and the school sports guidance on the AOE website.

Effective Friday, February 12, 2021, organized youth leagues and school-based sports programs (serving individuals age 19 years and younger) may resume the following activities:

  • Games, meets and competitions, subject to the restrictions noted below.
  • Two games in a seven-day period, and no closer than three days apart
  • No spectators: only players, coaches, officials, media
  • A player on more than one team can play twice in seven days for both teams
  • Mask wearing for most sports, social distancing as possible, no gathering

Please read the entire recreational sports and organized sports guidance.

Additional direction on school-sponsored winter sports programs, applicable to both public and independent schools, has been published by the Agency of Education at: https://education.vermont.gov/documents/aoe-anr-winter-sports-programs-for-the-2020-21-school-year

In accordance with Addendum 8, all other indoor and outdoor organized adult sports* remain suspended until further notice, including Vermont-based teams participating in interstate play.

This mandatory pandemic guidance has been issued in accordance with Executive Order 01-20 issued and amended by Governor Phil Scott. It has been developed by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development in cooperation with the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Department of Public Safety and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Should data emerge that indicates evidence of COVID-19 transmission as a result of sports-related activities, additional broad-based or sport-specific restrictions may become necessary, including but not limited to:

• Suspending games, meets and competitions;

• Closing or otherwise limiting access to facilities.

Such decisions will be made by the Department of Health in consultation with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Agency of Natural Resources.

1. Overview

Sports/Organized Sports Including Youth Leagues, Adult Leagues, Practices, Games, and Tournaments

PHASE ONE: Effective Saturday, December 26, 2020, organized youth leagues and school-based sports programs (serving individuals age 19 years and younger) may resume team-based activities strictly limited to no more than 25 participants and:

• Individual skill-building exercises;

• Strength and conditioning sessions; and,

• No-contact drills.

PHASE TWO: Effective Monday, January 18, 2021, organized youth leagues and school-based sports programs (serving individuals age 19 years and younger) may resume full team-based practices including the following activities:

• Drills involving incidental contact; and

• Team-based scrimmages.

PHASE THREE: Effective Friday, February 12, 2021, organized youth leagues and school-based sports programs (serving individuals age 19 years and younger) may resume the following activities:

• Games, meets and competitions, subject to the restrictions noted below.

Additional direction on school-sponsored winter sports programs, applicable to both public and independent schools, has been published by the Agency of Education at: https://education.vermont.gov/documents/aoe-anr-winter-sports-programs-f...

In accordance with Addendum 8, all other indoor and outdoor organized adult sports* remain suspended until further notice, including Vermont-based teams participating in interstate play.

*Professionally facilitated lessons and classes that provide individualized instruction to adults are not considered “organized sports” and may occur in accordance with Section 8.1 of the Work Safe Memo.

2. General Requirements

Organized youth leagues shall:

• Require all participants to complete a health check, including temperature screening, before arriving at team-based activity. At a minimum, the following questions should be considered: o Have you been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19?

o Do you feel unwell with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19? For example, have they had fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea?

o If a participant indicates that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you believe your establishment has been exposed to COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 802-863-7240 in order to determine next steps.

• Require masks / cloth face coverings to be worn at all times when indoors, including during practices, scrimmages, games, meets, and competitions, and when outdoors for all activities whenever physical distance of six feet cannot be consistently maintained. Individuals failing to properly mask should be asked to comply or directed to immediately leave the activity or facility. If an individual fails to properly mask, the facility or the State of Vermont may suspend the team’s practices or games indefinitely.

o Anyone with a documented medical or behavioral reason for not wearing a facial covering should not be required to wear one.

o Officials must properly mask at all times and use an electronic, handheld whistle or whistle mask/gaiter. This includes during arrival, departure, warm-ups, half-time, etc.

o Athletes participating in gymnastic, figure skating, cheer and dance skills and events that require inversion (i.e., tumbling, vaulting, bars, etc.) are exempt from wearing a mask while performing. Modifications should be considered to limit inversions, twisting, and tosses in order to promote masking. Because of the increased risk of transmission associated with vocalization, cheer squads currently may not perform vocal routines in practice sessions or competitions.

• Limit teams to no more than two games in any 7-day period. “Jamboree” or tournament-style play is not currently permitted in Vermont. This will be reevaluated on April 1, 2021.

• Prioritize non-contact activity, such as conditioning and drills where physical distance can be maintained, and give strong consideration to implementing modifications to reduce intensity of face-to-face contact and promote physical distancing.

• Prohibit congregating before, during, and after practice; promote an “arrive, play, and leave” mentality. Players and coaches should arrive for practices dressed to play to the maximum extent practicable and limit time spent in locker rooms. Any locker room use must adhere to physical distancing and masking requirements and must be limited to 50% of approved fire safety occupancy or one person per 100 square feet.

• Put in place measure to promote physical distancing between individuals during times when athletes are not actively participating in practice or competition, including team meetings and when players are on the sidelines or benches.

• Prohibit spectators from attending sports events; only “key personnel” – players, coaches and staff and credential media – are allowed to attend team-based activities.

o Guardians must wait in their vehicles and to avoid socializing with other guardians at practices.

o For 10U level athletes, prior to the start of team-based activity and immediately following the team-based activity, a maximum of one guardian per participating family (masks required) is permitted to enter the practice facility briefly (15 minutes or less) in order to ensure their athlete is dressed and equipment is properly secured/removed. Guardians are encouraged to be efficient and are not permitted to remain in the facility during the practice. Six foot spacing must be maintained between members of different households. In an effort to allow coaches/instructors to maintain active management of health and safety protocols during the team-based activity, they may designate a single volunteer safety manager to stay inside the facility during practice to help with young athletes who may need extra assistance with equipment, to use the bathroom facilities or get the attention of a parent waiting outside in an emergency.

• Plan facility schedules in a manner that avoids contact between different user groups, including staggered starts and sufficient time between games to minimize contact between arriving and departing cohorts.

• Prohibit team-based social gatherings until all other COVID-19-specific restrictions regulating sports leagues are fully lifted.

• Discourage multi-household carpools to team-based activities.

• Prohibit spitting or expulsion of bodily fluids of any sort on the playing service (field, court, ice, etc.), or anywhere in or around the playing service or in the facility.

• Prohibit sharing of water bottles.

• Regularly and thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment.

• Ensure teams maintain list of participants in each practice for a minimum of 14 days to assist in contact tracing. Home teams must keep a list of all people present (players and personnel) for any game, meet or competition for a period of 14 days following any game or competition, and make immediately available to the Health Department upon request.

*Professionally facilitated lessons and classes that provide individualized instruction to adults are not considered “organized sports” and may occur in accordance with Section 8.1 of the Work Safe Memo.

Vermont Tourism Summit Update

The annual Vermont Tourism Summit that typically takes place in April has been moved to December 2021. The Vermont Tourism Summit will hold a series of virtual Resilience Exchange webinars over the next few months, the first of which is Wednesday, February 10th at noon. This first virtual event will focus on lodging and events, discussing best practices and new strategies for operating during the pandemic.

Agritourism and Racial Justice Conversation

UVM Extension is hosting a virtual gathering on February 17th at noon to discuss the role of agritourism within the racial justice movement in the United States. Panelists from both urban and rural perspectives will discuss the potential for farm-based education and sales of local products to serve as tools in the pursuit of racial equity and social justice in food systems.

Government Contracting 101

VT-PTAC will be hosting a webinar on government contracting on February 17th at 10:00am focused specifically around working with federal Contracting Officers to properly execute and maintain government contracts. This webinar is aimed at contract managers, product/service team members, sales and marketing persons, and anyone involved in the acquisition of goods and services. This course is particularly valuable to those who are new to the U.S. federal contracting or other public systems.

ACCD Weekly Webinar

ACCD will NOT be holding a weekly webinar this Wednesday, February 10th due to scheduling conflicts. The Agency would like to collect feedback from those who have attended the webinars, as well as suggestions for future webinar topics in hopes of continuing to provide valuable information to the business community. Please fill out the ACCD Webinar Survey to share feedback and ideas.