AUGUSTA — The Maine Principals’ Association has announced the winter sports season will be delayed, according to a memorandum emailed to schools Tuesday afternoon and viewed by PenBayPilot.com.
Winter sports in Maine include basketball, swimming, skiing, ice hockey, wrestling, and indoor track.
“This memo is sent to give you an update as to the status of winter activities as we continue to work collaboratively with the various stakeholders involved in the process,” the email — credited as being from MPA executives Mike Burnham, Mike Bisson and Gerry Durgin — began.
The winter sports season will not begin as scheduled Monday, Nov. 16, though a formal date has yet to be established.
“While we totally understand that people would like an answer today, this is a process that involves multiple state agencies, all looking through a different lens, trying to come to some form of agreement about what can and can’t take place and when it may be safe to do so,” the email read.
The email addressed the three major concerns:
1. Face Masks: “There is a concern that the guidelines provided in the Framework for a Return to Classroom Instruction, requiring students and staff to wear masks at all times, and the allowing of a practice to occur without the use of a mask, sets a double standard for schools and remains a legitimate concern from other groups.”
2. Facilities: “Many school gyms are currently being used as classrooms, study halls, a cafeteria, or for storage. It is not reasonable to expect school staff to remove the equipment in the gym at the close of school every day to allow a practice to occur. Many of the outside facilities that are utilized in many sports are not currently available. This includes many of the college facilities as well as some community facilities like YMCA’s and ice rinks.”
3. Non-school programs: “There continues to be several community programs that are sponsoring practices and games throughout the state, as well as playing outside of the state. Having these teams continue to play, while the school-based programs are not allowed to play games, is an issue that is currently being addressed by the state agencies.”