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NY OKs more youth sports

ALBANY — More youth sports in regions of New York currently in phase three of reopening, which includes the North Country, will be allowed to begin games and competition starting July 6.

Soccer, non-contact lacrosse, doubles tennis, rafting, paintball, water polo and swimming (relays and individual) will now also be allowed.

The recent update came from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, which published guidance expanding on a June 14 announcement that gave the go-ahead to certain “low-risk” youth sports.

The initial sports deemed such were baseball, softball, cross-country, gymnastics, field hockey and crew.

Sports deemed “high-risk” and not allowed to resume games July 6, include football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby, basketball, contact lacrosse, volleyball and competitive cheer/dance.

“Individual or distanced group training” and “organized no/low-contact group training” is allowed for those “high-risk” sports according to the state’s sports and recreation guidelines.

The level of risk for sports has been determined by the New York Health Department’s interim guidance for sports and recreation during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“These guidelines apply to non-professional and non-collegiate sports and recreation activities (e.g. youth sports), inclusive of indoor and outdoor sports and recreation, as well as organized and non-organized sports and recreation,” the guidance document states.

Guidelines require social distancing to be enforced at all sporting events, and one main requirement stressed is limiting spectators to two individuals per athlete.

Coaches and other non-participants must wear masks if they are to be within six feet of anyone, according to the guidelines, and indoor facilities must be limited to 50% maximum capacity.

A full list of sports and their risk levels as of June 18, according to the state, can be found below.

Any sport that falls under “low-risk” or “moderate-risk” has been cleared for the July 6 restart of competitive events.

Lower-risk sports

Individual running

Individual swimming

Individual crew

Batting cages

Hunting/shooting/archery

Cross country

Golf/mini-golf

Toss/bowl games (e.g. horseshoes, bocce, bean bag toss)

Non-motorized boating

Singles tennis

Disc golf

Rock climbing

Ropes courses

Moderate-risk sports

Baseball

Softball

Doubles tennis

Racket games (e.g. badminton, racquetball)

Water polo

Gymnastics

Field Hockey

Swimming relays

Crew (2+rowers)

Rafting

Paintball

Soccer

Non-contact lacrosse

High-risk sports

Football

Wrestling

Ice hockey

Rugby

Basketball

Contact lacrosse

Volleyball

Competitive cheer/dance

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