Sports, Recreational Activities Can Return During Phase Two & Three Of Massachusetts Reopening

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Sports and recreational activities will be allowed during the second and third phases of the reopening of Massachusetts. (PHOTO COURTESY: VisualHunt.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The thought of sports and recreational activities taking place in Massachusetts seems more realistic these days as our state continues to slowly reopen.

As we learned yesterday, the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which is currently scheduled for Monday, June 8, would allow amateur, adult, and youth sports leagues to return to the field. But once our state advances to the third phase – as of now, it would begin Monday, June 29 – more options would become available, including the use of fitness centers and health clubs.

To help everyone understand how sports and recreational activities can be reintroduced to everyone over the next few weeks, we have compiled a list of what will be reopening, beginning in phase two.

What to expect in Phase Two (Caution): 

  • Professional sports teams can begin practicing while training programs can resume.
  • Sports camps can begin – most likely, they will start later this month once the current school year concludes.
  • Golf facilities, including outdoor driving ranges, can reopen. Additionally, mini-golf would be allowed during the second phase.
  • Adult, amateur, and youth sports can begin. Adult sports must be played outdoors while youth sports could occur indoors under supervision.
  • Additional outdoor recreational facilities that can reopen in the second phase include pools, playgrounds, spray decks, go-karts, batting cages, and climbing walls.

What to expect in Phase Three (Vigilant): 

  • Overnight camps – if there are sleepaway athletic camps, they would be permitted during this phase.
  • Indoor recreational and athletic facilities can reopen, but these are not limited to youth programs, though.
  • Additional indoor activities can occur, including batting cages, driving ranges, go-karts, bowling alleys, arcades, laser tag, roller skating rinks, trampolines, and rock climbing.
  • Fitness centers and health clubs can reopen, including cardio, weight rooms, locker rooms, and facilities.
  • Fitness studios that offer yoga, barre, cross-fit, spin classes, and general fitness studios.
  • Fitness centers can also allow their customers to use both their locker rooms and shower rooms, as well as their indoor common areas, indoor swimming pools, indoor racquet courts, and gymnasiums.

In phase four – the ew normal – saunas, hot-tubs, and steam rooms at health clubs will be allowed.

For more information on what else will be allowed to reopen in the state of Massachusetts, CLICK HERE

UMass’s Walt Bell Seems Optimistic For A College Football Season

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Walt Bell, who is entering his second season with the UMass football team, appears optimistic for a college football season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan 

As we continue to inch closer to July and August, the thought of college football seems to be on the minds of many these days, including the University of Massachusetts‘ Walt Bell.

Bell, who is entering his second season as the head coach of the Minutemen, seems optimistic for a season to occur this fall, despite so many questions swirling around the health and safety of both coaches and student-athletes.

“Every single day, you can start to see that snowball of positivity start to roll,” Bell said when speaking with Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle. “I know there will be football. I know in the majority of the country, there’s going to be football.”

Indeed, there will be football games played somewhere this fall, but will they occur in states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which have been impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19), remains an unknown? 

Bell did say that games will be played in Florida and Georgia, which certainly seems likely, especially after hearing Governor Ron DeSantis tell reporters last month that high school football fans “should absolutely assume” a season will happen later this year.

As of now, Bell and the Minutemen will keep their focus on staying connected through Zoom and FaceTime while thinking optimistically about the team’s season-opener against the University of Connecticut.

2020 Boston Marathon Canceled, Runners To Compete Virtually

440px-Boston_Marathon_logo.svgBy NoontimeSports.com  

The 2020 Boston Marathon will not be held in September. Instead, runners will be able to complete the 26.2-mile course virtually, according to the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.).

The news of the marathon being canceled was announced earlier today by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. It was then followed by a press release from the BAA, which announced the 124th running of the Boston Marathon would be held virtually.

“The Boston Athletic Association, with our input and support, has determined that the traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons,” Walsh said during today’s press briefing.

Walsh noted the city is not ready to host an event like the Boston Marathon, which attracts not just runners, but fans that are standing in “close proximity” along the course.

Boston currently has 12,634 cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) but has seen 6,272 recovered.

Tom Grilk, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Athletic Association, expressed the organization’s top priority is protecting the safety of everyone, including the volunteers, spectators, and supporters.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Grilk said in today’s release.

Those who were scheduled to run the race will be offered a full refund of their entry fee, according to today’s announcement from the BAA. They will also be invited to participate in the virtual marathon, which will take place from September 7-14.

Today’s announcement marks the first time the Boston Marathon has been canceled.

Testing Will Be The Key For College Football

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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby knows testing will be key for college football players. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rose Baca/The Dallas Morning News)

By Matt Noonan 

Testing, testing, and more testing will be the key for not just any organization to be safe and successful during the ongoing pandemic, but also college football. And that seemed to be the message from Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby when speaking earlier today alongside other college athletic officials during a webinar that was hosted by LEAD1 Association.

When it comes to college football, Bowlsby believes players will need to be tested for COVID-19 “probably every two or three days.” But testing, according to the Big 12 commissioner, isn’t the only thing schools must do to protect their student-athletes. Colleges will need to rethink how student-athletes enter and depart their athletic facilities to coming up with a plan with possibly redoing their locker rooms to making sure shared spaces are sanitized. And of course, the list goes on.

“There are things that are arduous and will take time and will be absolutely essential to the ongoing mitigation of the risks,” said Bowlsby.

Bowlsby admitted colleges, including the schools in his conference, will face different challenges with keeping student-athletes safe compared to professional leagues, which can implement different measures for its athletes. But while Bowlsby, as well as his colleagues, know challenges loom ahead, he does believe this “voyage” everyone is on must lead to innovative thinking with answering the question of how to return students to safely to the playing field.

Said Bowlsby, “This is going to be continual voyage of discovery, and we’ll have to innovate going forward to meet the demands.”

Notre Dame Will Welcome Back Students For The Fall Semester

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The University of Notre Dame logo. (PHOTO COURTESY: Wikipedia)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The University of Notre Dame is planning to open its doors for the fall semester. And classes – yes, classes – will be held in-person, not remotely.

Notre Dame, which shut its doors in mid-March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), announced earlier today that the fall semester will begin two weeks earlier than scheduled during the week of August 10 and conclude before Thanksgiving. Additionally, the school will not have an October break.

The University has canceled academic and summer programs through July 6, but the campus has been the home to some students “whose summer work is preparatory for the fall semester,” according to Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

“By far the most complex challenge before us is the return of our students to campus for the resumption of classes in the fall semester,” Father Jenkins wrote in today’s announcement about the upcoming fall semester.

While it will certainly be a challenge to bring every member of the student body, as well as the faculty and staff back to campus, Father Jenkins knows for Notre Dame will be prepared to carry out its safety plan, which will include testing, contact tracing, quarantining and isolating, along with social distancing and mask-wearing. Notre Dame said it plans to enhance its “cleaning of all campus spaces,” and has identified certain facilities to house those that test positive or came in contact with someone that has the virus. They also plan to develop signage while utilizing various forms of communication to stay in touch with the campus community.

“As we adapt to the new normal brought on by the coronavirus, we will do everything we can to provide you with a safe learning, research, and working environment,” Jenkins wrote.

While the news should certainly spark excitement for Notre Dame students, there was however, nothing reported about sporting events, including the university’s football team, which is scheduled to play its first game of the 2020 season at home on September 12 against Arkansas