Greetings from the MPA Office,
The School Sports Guidance: Return to Competition for Competitive Activities in Maine for winter sports has been updated and approved by the MPA Interscholastic Management Committee. Attached is a copy of the final document. We would like to thank the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and Maine School Management Association for their work in aligning these guidelines. Please note that links to individual sport guidelines may be found in the appendices at the end of the document and, also for your convenience, have been scanned into one document and attached to this message.
Please know that these guidelines are designed to allow for a safe return to play, but that they remain a work in progress and may be modified as circumstances with the virus change.
A few points of clarification:
· Participants in school sports – All athletes, coaches, officials, staff -- must wear face coverings during practices and competition, in line with Governor Mills’ latest Executive Order.
· Spectators are not allowed at indoor competitions given the challenges of adhering to indoor gathering limits. Schools must continue to follow the Governor’s Executive Order on gathering size limits, currently set at 100 people outdoor, or fewer if distancing rules cannot be accommodated.
· Prior to starting any school-based activity each school must receive approval from their local governing board. Ultimately, the decision to sponsor these activities will be made at the local level.
· As with fall sports, all winter coaches, paid and volunteer, must complete the free Covid-19 course called Covid-19 for Coaches and Administrators currently available on the NFHS Learn platform at https://nfhslearn.com/. It is recommended that athletes and officials also watch the video.
- Should a county be designated yellow or red, there should be no practices or games held until which time they are designated green.
- Schools must continue to follow the Governor’s Executive Order on gathering size limits, currently set at 100 people outdoors, or fewer if distancing rules cannot be accommodated.
· Schools must follow the Maine CDC recommendations for reporting when a person involved in school sports is confirmed positive for COVID-19 or a close contact of such a person (see the Standard Operating Procedure for Investigation of COVID-19 in Pre-K-12 Schools in Maine that is posted on the Department of Education website).
- Each winter sport committee has developed “Sport Specific Guidelines” that align with the “School Sports Guidance: Return to Competition for Competitive Activities in Maine” document that was recently approved for winter sports and activities. These guidelines may be found in the appendices at the end of the Return to Competition document.
- Each winter activity will have a revised bulletin that addresses the winter season. These may be found on the MPA website soon.
- Along with the “School Sports Guidance: Return to Competition for Competitive Activities in Maine” each school must follow all local rules and policies as they apply to the use of facilities, including locker rooms, transportation, operational considerations, cleaning and disinfecting, and the use of shared objects.
- Volleyball and Wrestling will be looking at a modified season that will take place in the late winter/early spring. Unified Basketball will also take place during this same timeframe.