New guidelines released for youth sports in Massachusetts


BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts state officials have made some changes to their guidelines for youth sports on Thursday.

The Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Office released a revision to the recently released Step 2, Phase 2 guidelines on workplace safety and reopening standards for businesses and other areas providing youth and adult amateur sports activities.

Low-risk sports, like singles tennis, cross country, or a solo gymnastics performance, are now exempt from wearing masks during play when they can consistently maintain at least 14-feet apart.

Out-of-state teams are still not allowed to play at Massachusetts facilities, but there is a slight change when it comes to some coaches and players.

An athlete from a border state that plays on a Massachusetts based team that is mostly made up of players from Massachusetts, is subject to the travel order.

However, a student from another state going to school in Massachusetts can participate in school-affiliated sports in the Bay State and are not subject to the travel order.

Additionally, if athletes or coaches don’t comply with the travel order, the individual or team will risk suspension of play or games. The state stressed they highly discourage out-of-state travel altogether.

On Thursday, Massachusetts joined six other states suspending all intestate youth hockey competitions through at least the end of 2020 due to the resurgent pandemic.

This change comes as the Bay State reached a grim milestone on Thursday. The state’s death toll passed 10,000 in addition to another 2,400 cases and more than 600 people in the hospital.

Massachusetts, like Rhode Island, is also worried about the uptick in hospitalizations. Gov. Charlie Baker said he will release more information on where they will be reopening those field hospitals.

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