COVID 19 has upended all our lives in many ways, not the least of which, the lives of our children. Not only has school been abruptly moved from the classroom to the home, but the all important need to recreate and maintain proper physical fitness has been all but eliminated.
Pima County recently adopted Resolution 2020-49 requiring physical distancing of 6 feet and the wearing of face masks when citizens are in public places. In outdoor settings, the Resolution allows us to go without the mask if we are in a group of 10 or less and can maintain social distancing.
Clearly, kids wanting to train and compete in most outdoor sports continued to find themselves homebound since training, practicing and competing with a face mask on created other health issues (especially breathing) particularly in Southern Arizona's summer heat.
As a result, our County Officials has sought to find a balance with a memo issued today - Clarification of Face Covering Requirement for Athletic Activities. Recognizing how important it is to our children's physical and mental health that they get outside and exercise, this clarification essentially allows kids to compete in sports with specific guidelines for each sport
For example, due to the size of the field, nature of play and the fact that players do not come within 6 feet of other players for extended periods of time the Clarification allows players to place their face mask around their neck with the need to pull it up to cover their mouth and nose only when they are closer than 6 feet from other participants for an extended period of time, such as corner kicks and free kicks.
We applaud the County's flexibility in adapting to this health crisis in an intelligent way that allows our kids to get off the couch, get outside and recreate while still taking reasonable care to avoid getting sick.
Clubs like FC Tucson Youth will take additional precautions such as requiring coaches to wear face masks at all times and players to do so while on the sidelines and walking to and from their cars, requiring physical distancing by parents on the sideline, physically distancing player equipment, requiring all players to bring their own water and of course requiring sick kids to stay home and immediately report to their coach an contact with others who have tested positive for the virus. In all instances, the final decision as to whether any child will play rests with the parents and no child will lose a spot on a team should their family decide this is not the time for them to be participating in youth soccer.
Read the entire Clarification Memo here: