The Maine Principals’ Association, the Maine School Superintendents Association, the Maine School Boards Association, and the Mills Administration issued a schedule for winter school sports.
The MPA continues to update its “School Sports Guidance: Return to Competition for Competitive Athletics and Activities in Maine” for winter sports and will be issuing requirements applicable to particular sports in the coming weeks. The guidance will include the requirement that participants in school sports wear face coverings during practices and competition, in line with Governor Mills’ new Executive Order. This requirement takes effect today for the remaining fall school sports season. The COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for Community Sports has been updated to reflect the same schedule, recommendations, and requirements. It, too, is effective today.
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.