Governor Raimondo announced this week (7/30/20) that Rhode Island will be remaining in Phase 3 for an additional 30 days until August 28 and social gathering limitations will be reduced to 15 people both indoor and outdoor.
To clarify a few guidelines which might lead to misinterpretation and misunderstandings:
1. Social gatherings of 15 both indoor and outdoor DOES NOT translate to youth sport activities. Youth sport activities will remain at maximum gatherings of 25 people indoor and 50 people outdoor. Per the RI State sports committee: “The reduction in the social gathering size will not apply to the sports guidance, and stable groups of 25 for indoor sports and 50 for outdoor sports will remain.”
2. Recently both Massachusetts and Connecticut have reduced soccer from a high-risk to moderate-risk activity allowing for inter-team practices and games. RIDOH has expressed repeated concerns about continuous physical contact and players breathing on each other. At this time, RI does not allow for inter-team games but does allow for a focus on practices, clinic training, and scrimmages within stable groups. Without the allowance of inter-team games and league play, competitive travel for the upcoming fall season will NOT be permitted until further notice.
3. SRI recommends that clubs focus on their Fall Recreation House play. At each individual club’s discretion, recreation house play may include practices and scrimmages between 3 stable groups of 15 people which includes players, coaches, and volunteers for the entirety of the season, up to a total of 50 people.
4. Clubs that choose to participate in stable group scrimmages should discourage spectators in the fields. If however the decision to allow spectators on the field is permitted at the discretion of the individual club, spectators should remain a distance of 14 feet off the field lines and a minimum of 6 feet apart between families.
5. Clubs with players who might normally participate in both USYS town (recreation or competitive) as well as US Club competitive/premier teams, should discourage any player from crossing state lines for inter-team play.
6. IMPORTANT: Players who would normally participate in double roster play must choose only one team to participate with as participating in double rosters would break the RI stable group guidelines, increase the risk of infection to themselves, their families and teammates and further jeopardize the ability for all RI athletes to return to play.
As a reminder, phase 3 guidelines for youth sports activity include:
• Stable groups of the same individuals, including players, coaches, staff, and volunteers over the course of the entire program. Participants are encouraged not to change from one group to another.
• Physical distancing of six feet between persons is encouraged, but not required while engaged in active play. 14 feet of physical distance is preferred when not engaged in active play but members of a stable group should maintain a physical distance of six feet between each person. Facial coverings should be worn when a minimum of six feet distance between people cannot be managed which includes players, coaches, volunteers, and spectators.
• Participants should bring and use their own equipment where possible, or have equipment designated and labeled for individual use by the organization. Shared equipment should be limited and sanitized between users. Cups, bottles, or other food/beverage items should not be shared.
• Spectators are allowed in accordance with current executive orders and RIDOH regulations regarding venues of assembly gathering sizes. Spectators should ensure at least six feet of physical distance between household groups and maintain at least 14 feet of space from the outer limit of play. It is recommended that no more than two spectators attend from any household/family. Spectators must wear face coverings in accordance with current executive orders on face coverings.
• Participants in close-contact sports (e.g., wrestling, basketball, football, soccer), where it is difficult to routinely maintain six feet of physical distance between persons, difficult to wear face coverings, and where the use of shared equipment consistently occurs should focus on practice and drills. Participants in close-contact sports should not participate in games with in-state or out-of-state teams.
• If a player on a team or in a stable group test positive for COVID-19, the entire team or group (if they have been in close contact with the athlete) needs to be quarantined for 14 days. All players, staff, coaches, volunteers, and spectators should be screened for symptoms related to COVID-19 prior to the beginning of each activity. Any person exhibiting signs of illness and any person who has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 must be excluded from all activities.
For a complete list of all Phase 3 guidelines relating to RI youth sports activities visit https://reopeningri.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/7-2-20-Phase-III-youth-and-adult-sports_FINAL-evan-edits-1-v.F.1.pdf?189db0&189db0