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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

State offers health and safety guidelines for restarting youth sports

James Morrison
Delaware Public Media

Several youth sports teams in the First State are gearing up to return next week.  And, they can safely resume with guidance from the State.

Those guidelines under Phase 2 of the Delaware's Reopening Plan were laid out Friday allowing low to medium risk such as golf, singles tennis, baseball, and softball to return.       

Delaware Public Health Division Director Karyl Rattay says many teams already started practices - and she advises them to continue social distancing.           

“The Governor mentioned and a number of us have seen these practices where we’re not seeing the social distancing that we want.  So, that’s something we hope our coaches in our state really work on as we move forward,” Rattay said.

There are no plans for high risks sports such as indoor basketball, ice hockey, football, and wrestling to resume at this time.  Rattay advised teams to limit contact during practices and games.

“You know you increase your risk a little bit within team competition like scrimmages.  But, that’s less of a risk than full competition where you’re competing between teams against other teams because now you’re bringing more people into the picture increasing your potential for spread,” Rattay said.

Phase II only allows competition between two teams.  Tournaments are prohibited.  Teams traveling in and out of state must follow the state’s health and safety measures.

The guidelines also recommend several in-play changes to sports to comply with social distancing.  This includes the elimination of headers in soccer and replacing face-offs with coin-tosses in lacrosse.