BOSTON (CBS) — On Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration released guidelines for youth sports to resume in Massachusetts amid the coronavirus pandemic. Already there is pushback from some parents and the sports community who think the guidance is too restrictive.
Youth football, lacrosse and soccer will not be playing games during Phase 3, Step 1 of reopening in Massachusetts. Sports with less contact, such as baseball, will be able to hold practices and games, just not tournaments.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Baker acknowledged the “bumpiness” in the rollout of youth sports guidance.
“I wish there was some way to avoid the bumpiness. Unfortunately, I think because a lot of the guidance is pretty detailed and pretty specific, I think it requires a few days for people to absorb it and understand it,” Baker said. “And if people felt that this guidance was late in arriving, that’s certainly on us.”
Baker said his administration spent a lot of time talking to other states about youth sports. Dave Geaslen of 3 Step Sports served on the state’s reopening advisory panel. He believes the new guidance is unfair to kids and could bankrupt half of of the ice rinks in Massachusetts.
“This is the most restrictive state in the country,” he said. “They cut us out of the process.”
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito also acknowledged the challenges of starting up youth sports again. She said the state is working with the sports community and medical experts to determine guidance for fall sports.
“This is a challenging area,” she said. “But like industry reopening, sports also has levels of play as well as an assessment of risk associated with the individual sport activity.”
For all of the guidelines, visit mass.gov.