(FOX 9) - The Minnesota Department of Health released guidance Thursday for how youth sports programs can go ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youth sports programs, including indoor sports such as hockey, are allowed to resume practices during the second phase of Gov. Tim Walz’s Stay Safe MN order, which begins June 1, but no games are allowed.
To minimize the transmission of COVID-19 through sports activities, health officials are advising youth sports programs to hold practices outside as much as possible. Programs should focus on skill development and keep any play and interactions between players contactless.
HOW WILL SPORTS PROGRAMS PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING?
MDH is advising that youth sports programs create consistent pods of the same staff, volunteers and participants with a maximum of 10 people in each pod. There should be no intermixing between groups.
Only one team or sport will be allowed on a field, rink or court at any time, with a limit to the number of players and coaches that can be there.
- Football/soccer field: 40 people or fewer (no more than four pods)
- Baseball field: 30 people or fewer (no more than three pods)
- Ice rink: 20 people or fewer (no more than two pods)
- Basketball/volleyball court: 10 people or fewer (no more than one pod)
ARE GAMES OR TOURNAMENTS ALLOWED?
Do not participate in games or tournaments, even if these events are out of state where youth sports games/tournaments are supported.
CAN PARENTS ATTEND PRACTICES?
Parents or caregivers should not attend practices. If it is necessary for them to be at practices, ensure that proper social distancing is maintained between parents or caregivers.
CAN PLAYERS SHARE EQUIPMENT?
Sharing equipment is discouraged. If sharing has to occur, consider the equipment and type of use and consider cleaning equipment between each use.
WILL LOCKER ROOMS BE OPEN?
Programs are advised to avoid using locker rooms and facility showers. Shower and locker room use should only be allowed if there are partitions, otherwise signage needs to be in place to remind players to maintain proper physical distancing of 6 feet.