Re-Opening Downtown Sports: Phase III, Step 2
Downtown Sports has always been dedicated to protecting the health of its patrons. We have always worked to create a safe environment for training. The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic has served to extend our efforts further to meet the needs of the time. We have and will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Governor Baker has provided a four-phase guideline to reopen the state. Each phase of return has specific guidelines that must be followed by Downtown Sports and our patrons. Starting on October 4, 2020, the state enters Phase III, Step 2 in low risk communities. Downtown Sports looks to the section Limited organized youth and adult amateur sports programs and activities in MassGov When can my Business reopen?. This document allows reopening of indoor for supervised youth programs and activities in Phase III.
This Downtown Sports document specifies the steps to be taken to remain in compliance with The Standards. Downtown Sports will require administrators to attest that The Standards and related guidelines presented here have been read, understood, and passed along to coaches and families that will be using Downtown Sports in this phase. We have included some excerpts from The Standards below for emphasis, but participants must be in compliance with ALL relevant parts of The Standards.
The Standards from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The state issued this document on October 4, 2020 which we will refer to as The Standards:
Mass Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs — WORKPLACE SAFETY and REOPENING STANDARDS FOR BUSINESSES and OTHER ENTITIES PROVIDING OUTDOOR ADULT SPORTS, SUPERVISED YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUES, SUMMER SPORTS CAMPS – Phase III, Step 1 — October 4, 2020
All individuals, particularly all adults, involved in youth sports training should read this document thoroughly.
Some Highlights from The Standards
- Contact sports (e.g., basketball, lacrosse, karate and other sports where ordinary play puts players in direct contact or close proximity) are considered "High Risk" and must limit activities exclusively to no-contact drills and practices UNLESS MODIFICATIONS CAN BE MADE to eliminate deliberate contact and reduce incidental contact.
- Operators who fail to implement applicable COVID-19 measures may be sanctioned in accordance with COVID-19 Order No. 33. Operators are further reminded that in addition to implementing COVID-19 measures in Phase II, they must still comply with all federal, state and local laws.
- Programs must separate participants into groups of no more than 25 and minimize coaches coaches and staff.... full-size basketball courts, may be used by more than one group at one time, provided that adequate social distance and group separation can be maintained. To ensure group separation, groups must be spaced at least 20 feet apart while sharing a playing surface or field.
- Scrimmages, organized games and tournaments are not allowed for contact sports (High Risk) in Phase III, Step 1 and activities must be limited to no-contact drills and training exercises....Those sports in "Moderate Risk" categories (e.g. soccer, volleyball) may scrimmage.
- Limit any nonessential visitors, spectators, staff, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible.
- Indoor facilities shall institute one-way entrance and exits ....
- Facility managers must set, post, and monitor occupancy limits for bathrooms based on the ability to maintain six-foot social distancing.
- Limited sports activity is allowed for players; players must maintain 6 feet of distance at all times and there should be no contact between players. If maintaining physical distance is difficult or impossible because of the nature of the sport, coaches should limit players to workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work, and drills.
- Participants and coaches/instructors/counselors must be kept in the same small group (cohorts)with dedicated coaches or other staff.
- Coaches must be responsible for maintaining social distance among players, coaches, staff, and spectators.
- Athletes should be discouraged from high fives, fist bumps or other social contact during practice.
What You Can Expect from Downtown Sports
Downtown Sports WILL:
- train staff to maintain personal hygiene and distancing protocols in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
- develop and implement increased daily sanitization protocols for common surfaces, restrooms, and equipment.
- make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant readily available throughout our facility.
- implement separate Entrance and Exits. For our court, this will mean that participants will enter through our main entrance and exit through the same door in an orderly way.
- limit spectators. Parents are urged to drop off players outside our facility and return at the conclusion of training for pick up. Unless special arrangements are made with us, parents will not be allowed to be present during training.
- have its mid-court netting configured to help distancing between cohorts on both ends of the court.
- have additional signage to help patrons stay in compliance with guidelines and procedures.
- limit our restroom to 1 person at a time in each of our restrooms.
- limit shared equipment use.
- require payment for intended use in advance of use.
- require attestation from Club/Organization officials that these guidelines have been read, understood, and passed along to members of their club/organization.
- expel from and deny usage of Downtown Sports any Club/Organization that fails to comply with these guidelines.
Downtown Sports will NOT refund any monies to any Club/Organization that has been expelled for failure to comply with these guidelines.
Requirements for Club/Organization Administrators/Owners
- Downtown Sports recommends that an adult is assigned to coordinate and oversee compliance to COVID-19 related concerns at the team level. Although this could be the team's coach, it may be another parent or staff member.
- Work with all teams to identify their team’s COVID-19 coordinator to oversee compliance at the team level
- Confirm your coaches and other active adults are properly trained and equipped on the use of sanitation products and techniques.
- Inform parents that these are "Drop-off/Pick-up" events in order to minimize traffic and allow for distancing.
Requirements for Coaches Coming with a Team to Downtown Sports
Coach — General Guidelines
- Programs must separate participants into groups of no more than 24, including coaches and staff.... full-size basketball courts, may be used by more than one group of 12 at one time, provided that adequate social distance and group separation can be maintained. To ensure group separation, groups must be spaced at least 20 feet apart while sharing a playing surface or field.
- Masks must be worn for all activities and may be removed during "High intensity aerobic or anaerobic" activities and replaced when intensity abates.
- Scrimmages, organized games and tournaments are now allowed for contact sports ("High Risk) in Phase III, step 1 provided that modifications can be made to eliminate "deliberate contact" and reduce incidental contact.
Required modifications that allow scrimmaging for Basketball:
- 3 v 3 (for 1/2 court) or 4v4(for full court) versus larger scrimmages (no 5v5 play for basketball) to allow for distancing
- Masks must be worn during activities (note: masks may be temporarily removed during high intensity activity but must be replaced whenever possible)
- No picks/screens/charges
- No jump balls
- No posting up
- Limited sports activity is allowed for players in "high risk" sports; players must maintain 6 feet of distance at all times and there should be no contact between players. If maintaining physical distance is difficult or impossible because of the nature of the sport, coaches should limit players to workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work, and drills.
- Participants and coaches/instructors/counselors must be kept in the same group (cohorts) with dedicated coaches or other staff.
- Coaches must be responsible for maintaining social distance among players, coaches, staff, and spectators whenever possible.
- Athletes should be discouraged from high fives, fist bumps or other social contact during practice.
- No shared food or drink may be provided during any activities for participants or spectators (e.g., concession stands or team snacks). Participants and spectators should only drink from their own containers. Coaches must provide individual, dedicated water bottles for children if they do not have their own.
- Participants and coaches must achieve proper hand hygiene at the beginning and end of all activities, either through hand washing with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Coaches should ensure that athletes arrive dressed for practice and leave immediately after practice: no recreational play or loitering is allowed. Teams completing practice should not stay to watch other practices before or after their practice session.
- To participate or attend, coaches should ensure that participants, volunteers, coaches and spectators must show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days. Current list of symptoms.
- If any individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the activity, they should promptly inform coaches and must be removed from the activity and instructed to return home.
- Participants, coaches, spectators, volunteers and facility employees in high risk categories should not participate or attend organized sport activities. List of high-risk categories.
- Coaches are responsible for following all guidelines and creating a safe environment for participants.
- Coaches must educate all participants and spectators on the applicable protocols for the relevant activity, protocols for entering/leaving the facility, and any other hygiene requirements.
- Coaches in coordination with Downtown Sports must ensure that hand sanitizer is available to all players.
- Face Coverings
- Participants must wear face coverings while participating in practice, drills, and scrimmages.
- Face coverings should otherwise be worn by coaches, other staff, and players in accordance with MA guidelines to prevent against the transmission of COVID-19 throughout the duration of the activity.
Requirements While Conducting Activities
- Club/Organization Administrator will communicate with the coach to ensure all required policies and procedures are in place during the training session.
- Designated player equipment area is set up next to the playing area you are assigned to. The area should be away from the sideline.
- Adhere to guidelines regarding proper use of face coverings and masks.
- For "High Risk" sports, sessions should be planned using physical distancing session plans. No contact is allowed.
- The Coach is the only person who can touch any cones or equipment. Coaches should not handle player’s equipment with their hands at any time.
- Throughout practice, during breaks for water, encourage proper hygiene as provided in the guidelines.
- The Coach shall take proper attendance for each session, recording on paper, or electronically.
- Do not allow players to share team snacks, water, equipment, or clothing.
Requirements After Conducting Activities
- Ensure that all players have all of their belongings and have disposed of any trash that they may have (water bottles, snack wrappers).
- Dismiss players to allow for proper physical distancing as they leave the facility through the designated egress.
- The coach shall be the only person to pick the cones and other equipment. The equipment should be disinfected prior to leaving.
- Ensure players and spectators do not congregate at the facility or in the parking area.
- The coach should be the last person to leave the practice area.
- The coach will minimize equipment sharing.
- Downtown Sports will clean and disinfect shared equipment at the end of a practice session as outlined in the guidelines.
Requirements for Parents of Children Coming to Downtown Sports
Parents and Guardians must support their child, the club/organization staff, and Downtown Sports to ensure that proper safety precautions are taken to comply with the Downtown Sports guidelines. This involves, but is not limited to:
- Refrain from sending a child to Downtown Sports who has shown signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days.
- Arrive/Depart at the scheduled time. Try to minimize waiting to begin or waiting to leave. Players will be allowed in on schedule.
- Expecting to Drop off/Pick up only-Unless necessary, Parents are asked to not remain in the building.
- Sending a child to training with minimal belongings necessary to train: an individual water bottle, a face covering (to be used entering and exiting Downtown Sports, and at other times when not involved in an activity and not able to maintain required distances).
- Work with Downtown Sports and club/organization staff to efficiently drop off and pick up a child.
- Adhere to parking and traffic flow guidelines to ensure the safety of all people entering and leaving Downtown Sports.
Requirements for Players Coming to Downtown Sports
Players must know of the safety precautions to be taken related to COVID-19 and must follow these and posted guidelines within Downtown Sports to ensure their own safety and the safety of others participants, coaches, and staff. Players that fail to follow these guidelines risk their club/organization's ability to utilize Downtown Sports.
Player — General Guidelines
- Players should arrive dressed for practice and leave immediately after practice: no recreational play or loitering is allowed.
- Players must show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days. Current list of symptoms.
- If a player develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the activity, they should promptly inform coaches and must be removed from the activity and instructed to return home.
- Players in high risk categories should not participate or attend organized sport activities. List of high-risk categories.
- Players must achieve proper hand hygiene at the beginning and end of all activities, either through hand washing with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Face Coverings
- Face coverings must be worn in accordance with MA guidelines to prevent against the transmission of COVID-19 throughout the duration of the activity.
- Players are discouraged from high fives, fist bumps or other social contact during practice.
- Players only drink from their own containers.