PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Play ball! Pennsylvania on Wednesday issued guidance for how high school and recreational sports can resume.
The grass has remained strangely still in the places where young athletes used to play. In Pennsylvania, that movement is about to return.
“As soon as these guidelines came out, my phone was going crazy and I was talking to administrators and coaches and our head athletics trainer and that’s just an example of how excited everyone is,” Pat Crater, the supervisor of athletics for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, said. “There is a process that there are a couple of boxes that we need to check to make sure that we are in line with the governor’s guidelines.”
Gov. Tom Wolf issued preliminary guidance for high school, college and recreational sports teams to resume voluntary workouts and other in-person activities for regions in the yellow and green phases.
“Schools must first develop an athletic health and safety plan in alignment with the Department of Education’s Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Schools guidance, that is approved by the local board of directors and posted on the school’s website,” Wolf said in a statement.
In the yellow phase, gatherings of all participants, including players, staff officials and spectators, are limited to 25 people. In the green phase, that increases to 250, or 50% capacity.
Other guidelines are as follows:
- Coaches and adult personnel should wear face coverings
- Athletes should be screened for symptoms before practices and games
- Participants must follow safe hygiene and social distancing practices
- Unnecessary physical contact should be avoided
- Facilities and equipment must be cleaned and disinfected
“We are excited for our kids to be with their friends, make new friends, to engage in those life lessons and those leadership lessons and ultimately, just have fun,” Crater said.
Crater says his district is finalizing its plans to present to the school board for a vote next week. They hope to have voluntary summer workouts off the ground later this month.