The ban is over — Baltimore City has modified its policy on youth sports as it continues to work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
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The Baltimore City Health Department and Recreation and Parks evaluated coronavirus data and announced the decision Wednesday.
Contact sports such as tackle football, rugby and wrestling are still banned, but baseball games will be played at Hamilton Field. Youth leagues must submit a written plan showing they will follow coronavirus prevention guidelines.
Baltimore Recreation and Parks Director Reginald Moore said the top priority is to ensure the safety of children amid the pandemic.
“Now that Baltimore is in a downward trend in the pandemic, we will allow youth athletic permits — with the exception of football, rugby and wrestling — beginning today,” Moore said.
Baltimore Recreation and Parks has set three key requirements for fall sports to continue. First, all youths who participate in a fall sport, coaches and officials — anyone who is in the play or competition area — must have a mask on at all times, Moore said. There are no exceptions.
Second, up to two spectators will be allowed per participant to attend the competition. Spectators must practice social distancing and ensure they’re wearing a mask if they can’t social distance.
Third, each fall organization must provide a written plan before they will be allowed a permit.
Watch the news conference below:
Over the past month, youth sports leagues told 11 News they thought the city’s decision to allow adult recreation leagues to play, but not youth sports leagues, was unfair.
Kweisi Ehoize, the founder of the Baltimore Terrapins, says football programs will have to pivot.
“No, we’re not playing tackle football, but we can do workouts, training, strength conditioning. Let them out, run around and be kids as well,” Ehoize said.
“I understand the concerns the city would have with the contact part of it. We need to as parents and players and the community keep working together to practice safe CDC guidelines and eventually, we will get there,” said Lindsay Reisert, a parent.
Recreation and Parks said it also relied on information from Gov. Larry Hogan’s return to sports commission and other sports organizations as it reevaluated its policy.
In addition to youth and athletic sports, Mayor Jack Young announced the city will offer park and pavilion permits for private events at 25% capacity in each space with a maximum attendance of 63 participants per event.
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READ THE FULL STORY:Baltimore Rec and Parks to allow for youth fall sports, with exceptions
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