Baltimore County will allow youth sports this fall with requirements and rule changes to attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks announced Friday the use of face coverings will be required by all individuals who aren’t actively playing the sport. Spectators will be limited to parents and guardians of players, and the plan encourages social distancing and prohibits individuals from sharing personal equipment.
Some sports will be required to follow specific guidelines. There will be no tackle football games, for instance, but flag football games or scrimmages are authorized. Football drills and conditioning activities are allowed, but the county recommends the use of player gloves.
There will be no throw-ins allowed in soccer and the goalkeeper must wear gloves. For baseball and softball, a clean ball must be used after every half inning — when the teams switch places fielding and batting. Cheerleaders will be required to wear masks at all times and stunts will be prohibited.
Program participation is only allowed if residents have had no signs or symptoms of COVID-19, the county stated. Participation is also limited to people who have not been exposed to someone who has had signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for a minimum of 14 days before participation.
The county will also require all participants to sign a COVID waiver form, require temperature checks and players warming up on the sidelines or on the bench wear masks.
All activities should have assigned places for each player’s equipment, hand sanitizer available and not allow sharing of water bottles or communal beverages.