School sports resume without spectators and with masks during action

While youth winter sports have resumed in Vermont as of Friday, some things have changed if you’re a player or parent.

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Agency of Education released a new guidance policy for indoor sports, which resumed Feb. 12. Competitions have some unusual rules — no spectators are allowed, and athletes must continue to wear masks during games and practices.

Despite the big changes to youth sports, Rutland City Schools Athletic Director Mike Norman told True North on Monday he’s pleased to see sports resume.

“I think the fact that we are able to practice and play games now is a great thing,” he said. “We just have to work around meeting the new things that we have to do — you know, the distancing and the masks, and things of that nature.”

“I think it’s paramount that these kids are practicing and playing games, and if that’s what we have to do, then that’s what we have to do,” Norman said.

The new rules include a limit of two games per seven-day period. Also, games must be spaced apart by a minimum of three days. No spectators are allowed, not even family.

Norman said parents would like to be at the games.

“I think schools are doing the best that they can to have the games live-streamed and put on social media,” he said. “Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. When you boil right down to it, the most important thing is the kids. The kids participating is paramount.”

For most sports, players will continue to require wearing masks, even during intense physical activity. Athletes are expected to stay six feet away from each other when they are not in the game. The guidelines also discourage multi-household carpools.

The guidelines don’t only pertain to players and parents. Cheer squads are not allowed to perform vocal routines in practice or competitions, due to the possibility that vocal cheers may spread the coronavirus.

If an uptick in the spread of the virus is detected, the state may once again suspend events and close facilities.

Elsewhere in the nation, a movement is afoot to oppose masks during sports action. A group in Minnesota is pressuring lawmakers to remove the mask requirement for children, and they say some kids have experienced fainting.

“Hockey parents told the committee the masks are causing problems for their children on the ice, including fainting, concussions and obstructed vision,” a CBS report states.

The pressure to limit sports activity stems from media headlines and the governor’s press conferences that continuously rehearse deaths and cases of the coronavirus — a practice not done for other diseases. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, almost exclusively, elderly people who have multiple illnesses are those at risk to be gravely sick or die from the coronavirus.

Norman said football was one of the sports activities most affected by the state’s restrictions.

“Every school in Vermont, I think there were probably less kids that played football this year than most, just because people had health concerns — you know, the unknown factors. And there were some people that didn’t consider it to be real football because it wasn’t 11 [players] on 11.”

He added that he doesn’t question the officials who continue to set the guidelines.

“It’s unfortunate that the parents and fans can’t go to the games, because they just enjoy watching the games and their children and all that sort of stuff. But I have confidence in the Principals Association, and certainly the governor and the administration, that they are making the decisions that need to be made.”

The official COVID guidance for sports can be found at the ACCD website and on the school sports guidance on the AOE website. They apply to both public and independent schools.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Public domain

3 thoughts on “School sports resume without spectators and with masks during action

  1. I see the masked people, being totally isolated in their endeavors wherever and doing whatever and see them as brainwashed sheeple.

  2. It’s all about instilling and maintaining a certain level of FEAR. We’re teaching our younger kids that they should be AFRAID of each other and not to get too close because someone might make you sick. We’re teaching our older kids that, if they want to play sports, they will have to play them in a silent venue and there will be no one to cheer them on because of the FEAR that someone in the crowd might be sick. Maybe cardboard cutouts of their parents and families in the stands and playing recorded cheers might be an option…(sarcasm).
    Let’s remember that the people making up the rules are the ones the voters placed in office. Elections have consequences.

  3. All of this mask wearing is absolutely bizarre. I was out cross-country skiing and most of the skiers were wearing masks as they skied. It was unbelievable because if you’re out there healthy enough to ski, the chances of Covid doing any harm to you are minuscule. Covid attacks the old and frail. We know that.

    You’d think that the example of Sweden would wake us up to the uselessness of masks, but no, we have to make our children suffer as much as we can for a disease that rarely harms them.

    We’re using non-pharmaceutical methods to control a disease when we have controls that’ll work wonders if we’d stop resisting them. Vitamins C, D and zinc and ivermectin would work wonders for us but we simply don’t want to go there as a public health policy, and instead we’re opting for measures that impose medical tyranny upon the people and inflate the power of the state over the individual, far past what our founding fathers would have imagined.

    The NIH website tells us that “pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies suggest that achieving the plasma concentrations necessary for the antiviral efficacy detected in vitro [of ivermectin] would require administration of doses up to 100-fold higher than those approved for use in humans.” This is a blatant, bald-faced lie, as numerous studies and clinical practice have shown. Why are they lying to us?

    At every step, we’ve opted not for individual self-determination but for state power in our handling of the virus. Why? Most readers of TNR know why: this really isn’t about the virus. This is tyranny coming in through the back door as “medical necessity,” avTrojan horse that too many applaud and welcome with open arms.

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