FARMINGTON – In the interest of public health and education, the Town of Farmington Parks and Recreation Department has made the decision to cancel in-person Soccer and Field Hockey programs this Fall. They will, however, be offering these programs in a comprehensive online platform with weekly skills and drills, conditioning, family/friend “pod practices”, and competitions.
Because many children have difficulty with maintaining physical distance during sports the “Phase 2: Community Sports” guidelines provided by the state were very clear. Soccer and Field Hockey are still considered “Moderate Risk” even with small groups of cohorts and require “…protective equipment or mitigating measures in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particulate transmission between participants, (e.g., wearing masks, modifying play to maintain 6 feet of physical distance, cleaning and disinfecting)”.
The guidelines also stated that “Students attending school and students participating in any group sporting activity (club, community, or school-based) represent the mixing of cohorts that schools are attempting to use for their public health protection measures. This increased mixing creates a high risk for potential spread both within schools and between schools and therefore this guidance must be diligently followed.”
There are still many other barriers to overcome in developing a safe environment for the children, spectators, and staff to run a successful program. Youth sports such as soccer, field hockey, and basketball struggle with “too many people on the ball,” which makes the modified play of 6 foot distances and the “Increased projection of respiratory particles during cardiovascular activities…which can be up to 14 feet” carry much more risk and is extremely difficult to maintain. For these reasons, the Recreation Department has decided to support the local school district and the measures they have put in place to protect the children and increase their chances for a successful return to education this school year.
The Recreation Department is currently working on providing a few comprehensive remote learning opportunities for participants that will also include jersey and medal options, as well as other online programming and content. These offerings will be announced shortly
For more information contact Matt Foster, Director of Farmington Parks and Recreation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 778-3464.