Welcome to Phase 2 on the SouthCoast. Governor Charlie Baker announced over the weekend that Massachusetts is ready to move forward with the “Cautious” stage, and starting today, new guidelines take effect.

According to Mass.gov, “Retail stores will transition from curbside pickup and delivery-only to browsing and in-store transactions with restrictions.” Restaurants are cleared to begin outdoor dining services, and this phase also allows “organizers of amateur sports programs for youths and adults to open their premises to staff only to make preparations in advance of the start of Phase II.” Root, root, root for the youth sports!

Here are the provisions for youth sports at the start of Phase 2:

  • Limiting traditional contact sports to no-contact drills and practices;
  • Prohibiting games, scrimmages, and tournaments;
  • Separating participants to into groups of 10 or less;
  • Restricting the use of indoor athletic facilities to supervised sports programs and sport camps for youths under the age of 18.

While games are still not allowed, this is a huge step in the right direction for the children of Massachusetts. I believe wholeheartedly that we will see a huge improvement in the children’s positivity, behavior, and temperament.

I personally do not have kids, but I certainly was one. I remember youth sports being the epicenter of my life for so many years. I grew up on the softball fields of North Kingstown, Rhode Island and developed a love for athletics. In the 90s and early 2000s, I lived on the infield. It’s where I hung out with my friends, spending the summer afternoons under the sun getting funny tan lines from my glove and razorback jerseys. I could not imagine missing out on sports as a kid. I would have been heartbroken.

That’s why I was heartbroken for the kids of 2020. No sports, no graduations, no dances. Phase 2 ushers in the next advancement for the state, allowing these kids to get one step closer to normal activities. That’s a grand slam in my book.

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