The Garfield County Re-2 District School Board received several comments from the public on Monday on how the district will progress with winter sports safety rules.
“My son is in seventh grade and this would have been his first year to have the opportunity to play basketball for his school,” Andrea Murr said in a letter to the school board. “He was delighted to do it. However, as soon as he heard he would have to wear a mask, he said he would not play.
With the first games of “season B sports” – ice hockey, girls’ and boys’ basketball, competitive cheering, wrestling and girls’ swimming – scheduled for January 25, some athletes will be required to wear masks during the game. In addition, the matches themselves will be limited to 50 spectators, 24 team participants and essential staff, which includes coaches, referees and scorers, among others.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there are a few exceptions to the mask rule during games and games, but basketball is not one of them.
“… We will only exempt athletes from the statewide indoor mask ordinance when they are actively involved in wrestling, wit, and water sports, and masks remain mandatory. when they are not actively participating, for example when the athlete is between two events, “said the CDPHE. in the letter, which concerned approving a statewide waiver to allow live sports.
Re-2 officials confirmed on Monday that the upcoming COVID-19 rules they aim to follow during live play are in fact implemented by the Colorado High School Activities Association, which is under the leadership of the CDPHE. The regulations also follow the Garfield County Level Orange Dial Metric.
Another comment asked if wearing a mask during vigorous exercise is safe, saying Garfield County Commissioners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization advise against it.
“It’s child abuse,” Sherronna Bishop said during a video broadcast of the meeting. “They know we shouldn’t be doing it, they know it’s dangerous.”
During the discussion, Re-2 board member Katie Macckley said if the district does not actually follow COVID-19 guidelines, it could be problematic.
“If we choose not to follow these guidelines, no one will come and play us,” she said.
The CHSAA has the power to penalize any individual or team under its jurisdiction if they are found not to follow the rules put in place. Facilities manager John Oldham said that could include banning a team from making the playoffs.
“Therefore, we have to follow the rules of the CHSSA or we are not allowed to participate in sports,” said Tom Slappey, board member.
Macckley urged parents to put their energies into CDPHE to try to lobby for looser restrictions. She used the NCAA as an example, saying she routinely tested her players for COVID-19.
Until the restrictions are relaxed, the general consensus is to follow the rules to avoid being penalized.
“If we really put our children at the center of this debate and use common sense, it would tell me that in order to bring any kind of stability to our children we can, hide and play,” said Meryia Stickler, member. from the administration board. noted. “Do I like this? No. But I want our children to have as many opportunities for the stability of their normal activities as we can give them.
“If we can find a way to keep our spectators and participants safe, we can find a way to make it work,” he said. “… I’m not asking people to like it, I’m not asking people to understand it… and instead of working against us, work with us.
District Re-2 is now in the process of developing fan protocols for live matches, Oldham said.