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Some youth sports are returning to competition

St. Louis City and County making adjustments in health guidelines

The City of St. Louis is discussing with high school officials on allowing more sports competitions. Additional high school sports are resuming under St. Louis County Department of Health guidelines issued Sept. 28.

The city already allows competition in what it considered low-impact sports, and new guidelines would open it up to sports of moderate and high impact. Schools have been asked to submit detailed plans to the city for controlling the spread of COVID-19. “We’re working with our school partners to have a path forward for a return to competition for medium and high contact sports,” said Jacob Long, a spokesperson for the St. Louis City Mayor’s Office.

The resumption in St. Louis County applies to sports considered moderate contact, which applies to sports such as soccer, volleyball, floor hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, cheerleading and dance team. Low-impact sports such as golf, tennis and swimming already were allowed. No games are allowed for high-contact sports such as football, basketball, ice hockey, water polo and wrestling.

In St. Louis County, only games and competitions with other teams within the St. Louis region are allowed. No tournaments, performances, competitions or showcases are permitted, such as bracket-style play where multiple teams play back to back. Limited spectators are allowed — up to two spectators per athlete, as long as they comply with all requirements for facial coverings and social distancing. The number of spectators are not allowed to exceed 50 persons.

All Archdiocese of St. Louis schools are adhering to the health guidelines set forth by the county in which the school resides. In the case of high school sports, different counties have placed differing levels of restrictions due to the respective counties’ concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Those restrictions are regarding active play of the sport, regardless of location of the competition. Competition has been allowed in counties in the archdiocese outside St. Louis and St. Louis County.

CYC sports

On Sept. 23, the Catholic Youth Council’s CYC Sports program updated its youth sports guidelines to comply with local health department regulations. Though the City of St. Louis is moving toward allowing youth competitions, the CYC is not resuming play at city schools at this time because of various restrictions in place for those games.

Other than in the City of St. Louis, the CYC guidelines include:

• The number of spectators is limited to 50 persons. The CYC is setting the limit of one spectator per athlete for CYC sports. All spectators must comply with requirements for facial coverings and social distancing. Siblings and other extended family members should not attend.

• No tournament-style competitions are allowed, such as bracket-style play where multiple teams play back to back.

• Coaches, officials, and athletes must be screened every day that an individual participates at a practice or game.

Other guidelines in place such as the use of masks while not in play remain.

CYC Sports Director Dan Fitzgerald wrote that the CYC feels blessed to have the opportunity to play fall sports. “CYC sports are moving forward. We will need to lead by example. Our program is the Catholic Youth Council with a long tradition of guiding our athletes to play with respect for others and respect for the rules. We have to make this work. We have to do this for our kids.”

The CYC Executive Board agreed early on to follow the guidelines of St Louis County. “Our main focus has always been to provide a safe environment for our athletes,” Fitzgerald wrote.

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