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MPA and State Agencies release winter sports guidelines for community and high school sports

Winter sports training must stop for safety reasons until December 7th according to DHHS
MPA start to winter sports season delayed as it works with state agencies to create COVID-19...
MPA start to winter sports season delayed as it works with state agencies to create COVID-19 safe guidelines
Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 4:01 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Principal’s Association and state agencies have announced guidance for winter sports.

  • December 7, 2020: Level 1: Skills and drills sessions at home, alone or with household members
  • December 14, 2020: Level 2-3: Practices and competitions (e.g. intra-squad scrimmages) within teams
  • January 11, 2021: Level 4: Competition among teams from the same geographic area

Concern over holiday gathering contributing to a greater spread of COVID-19 is the reason for the timeline.

From the state guidelines on the DHHS website:

"The following types of play are defined by level from least to greatest risk. Across all types of play, keep players together in small, stable groups (i.e. cohorts) with dedicated coaches or staff. Ideally, these cohorts should include fewer than 30 individuals.

  • Level 1: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with household members
  • Level 2: Team-based practice with physically distanced group activities
  • Level 3: Within-team competition (e.g. intra-squad scrimmages). This level of play involves one cohort of participants.
  • Level 4: Competition between teams from the same geographic area (e.g. the same county and in some cases adjacent counties). This level of play involves two cohorts of participants.
  • Level 5: Competition between teams from different geographic areas within Maine
  • Level 6: Competition between teams from different states"

Low Risk: Sports and activities that can be done with physical distancing and no physical contact or sports and activities that can be done individually. Winter sports include: individual swimming, skiing, and gymnastics.

Medium Risk: Sports and activities that involve intermittent close proximity or limited, incidental contact, but with protective equipment or mitigating measures in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants (e.g., wearing masks, modifying play to maintain 6 feet of physical distance, cleaning and disinfecting) Winter sports include: team swimming, basketball, ice hockey, competitive cheering, and running events not social distanced.

High Risk: Sports and activities that involve sustained close contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants. Winter sports include wrestling and boxing.

January 11 start date for Level 4 competition will also be reviewed in early January based upon the status of the public health situation at that time. This winter sports schedule is similar to that adopted by Vermont and New Hampshire.

Levels 5 and 6 will be determined if applicable in January.

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