Towns asking for sports leagues, organizations to submit 'Return to Play' plan for youth sports

Raven Brown
Updated: June 23, 2020 06:00 PM
Created: June 23, 2020 04:44 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — With the official start of summer just a few days ago, many towns’ sports fields still sit empty. 

“We've reached out to all of our youth sports leagues, to see what all of their plans are for the summer and just to ensure that are required by the state guidelines they are developing a plan that ensures compliance with the regulations by the state,” Irondequoit Town Supervisor David Seeley said. 


Seeley said when it comes to youth sports, they are waiting to open their fields and resources until July 6 before organizations and leagues can start back up. 

“I think they want to at least resume some level of activity even if it's just practicing and getting the kids back on the field I think that's a goal for them that's our goal to we just want to make sure these kids have some type of outlet,” Seeley said. 

The state released new guidelines that sports that are considered lower or at a moderate-risk for COVID-19 like soccer, baseball and non-contact lacrosse are allowed to participate in individual or distanced group training or activities but they still cannot participate in competitive tournaments of multiple games or meets.

Sports that are considered higher risk sports are defined as "least ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually."

Mark Polizzi’s daughter plays youth ice hockey for Roco. He said they’re anxious to get their kids back on the ice and frustrated that some sports like gymnastics can open and not ice hockey. 

“Personally I don’t understand how that’s high risk because you have equipment on, your skin is not exposed you wear shields now so you couldn’t spit on anyone or anything like that,” Polizzi said. 

Activities that are higher-risk for COVID-19 include:

  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Ice hockey
  • Rugby
  • Basketball
  • Contact lacrosse
  • Volleyball
  • Competitive cheer/dance

Polizzi said he understands the locker room but aside from that thinks they should be able to play. Those in the high-risk category are now allowed to participate in Individual or distanced group training.

The town of Webster is also waiting until July 6 for organized youth sport to be played on their fields. 

“Our expectations here in Webster is that the user groups that are using the fields and kind of using the space for their programs are going to be sort of self-policing those,” Webster Parks and Recreation Director Chris Bilow said. 

Bilow said their fields are open and ready to go for general use at the start of Phase Four, but just like Seeley said organized sports are still going to have to wait. 

“As we look around there's three softball diamonds that are at this complex here and to not see activities on them especially in the evening with the weather we have is really a shame it will be nice to finally see some activity,” Bilow said. 

News10NBC reached out to many other towns in Monroe County Penfield, Pittsford, Irondequoit and Webster got back to us saying they are wanting to be cautious and fields for sports and practices will not open until July 6. 

Penfield Little League coach Mike Baxter tells News10NBC they do plan to have a season this year.

They plan to start practice on July 6 and games will start Aug. 18 through Aug. 29.

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