Family, Health, Sci-Tech, Sports

Baltimore County recreation councils authorized to hold youth sports in fall with COVID-19 safety protocols

NOTTINGHAM, MD—The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks on Friday announced that it will authorize local recreation councils to hold youth sports in the fall, with strict requirements in place to protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Baltimore County Health Department, and the National Recreation and Parks Association, the county developed guidelines to protect public health, which includes requiring the use of face coverings by all individuals who aren’t actively playing the sport, and limiting spectators to parents and guardians of players.

The plan also encourages social distancing and prohibits individuals from sharing personal equipment.

It is the responsibility of all facility users to follow the requirements. Officials say failure to adhere to county guidelines may result in removal from Recreation and Parks property.

The Department will continue to follow all State Executive Orders related to recreational activities.

Below is the full list of requirements for programs that are utilizing Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Facilities or programs that are operating under a permit issued by Baltimore County Public Schools to the Department of Recreation and Parks:

  • Participation in programs is only allowed if you have had no signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and you have not been exposed to someone who has had signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for a minimum period of 14 days before participation.
  • Participation in programs requires a signed Baltimore County COVID-19 Waiver Form.
  • If you are sick or feel sick, you should remain home.
  • At risk individuals, youth or adult, should remain home.
  • Temperature checks, under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, are required for players, volunteers and coaches.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available at all activities.
  • Assign an area for each player to place their equipment.
  • No sharing of drink bottles or any personal equipment.
  • No centralized hydration or refreshment areas.
  • No spectators at events, with the exception of parents and guardians.
  • Masks are required for parents and guardians if not practicing social distancing.
  • Masks are required by all volunteers and coaches in the program.
  • Masks are required for participants when entering the field and while on the bench.
  • Masks are not required for players and officials while on the field of play, but are recommended.
  • Social distancing should be practiced at all possible times.
  • Participants should refrain from handshakes, huddles and high fives.

In addition to recommendations that must be followed by all participants, some sports will be required to follow specific guidelines.

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Sport Specific Guidelines

Football:

  • No Tackle Football games/scrimmages
  • Flag football games/scrimmages are authorized
  • Drills and conditioning activities are authorized
  • Player gloves are recommended

Soccer:

  • No throw-ins
  • Goalkeeper must wear gloves

Baseball and Softball:

  • A clean ball must be utilized at each change of team at bat, i.e. each half inning

Cheerleading:

  • No stunts
  • Masks must be worn at all times.

[Photo by Pixabay from Pexels]

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