- Dale Duff Reporting ([email protected])
Maybe, just maybe, there will be a high school winter sports season after all.
The Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) and the state officials announced Friday afternoon that they have reached agreement on a winter schedule and guidelines that includes participants wearing face coverings during competition as well as limiting crowds in attendance.
From the MPA…
As with fall sports, specific sports are categorized as low, medium, or high risk and assigned corresponding levels of play. The six levels of play are assigned based on the activity level’s own risk (ranging from skill building to competition), protocols to allow activity to happen safely, and circumstances with COVID-19 in Maine. The winter sports start dates for these levels are as follows:
- 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
The start dates of December 7 and January 11 allow for time to pass after holidays when people may be travelling or at gatherings that increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. Start dates for Levels 5 and 6 of competition will be determined in January. The 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.
The state has also revised its ‘Community Sports’ guidelines to mirror was the schools sports plan includes regarding schedules and other requirements.
“We are pleased to have worked collaboratively with the various stakeholders to provide an opportunity for winter activities to take place in Maine,” said Mike Burnham, Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association. “We understand the importance that these activities are to the health and well-being of our students, their families, and their communities. The alignment with the Community Sport Guidelines gives all groups a chance to work together to provide programs that are meaningful for the young people in our state. These guidelines will also allow for the sport of volleyball to have an indoor season at some point this winter/spring.