Maine school district says no to most fall high school sports

Hours after the Maine Principals’ Association issued new guidelines allowing for regional play of field hockey and soccer, one Maine school district has said no to those sports this fall.The Regional School Unit 73 School Board Thursday night approved the play of low risk sports like golf and cross country in the Mountain Valley Conference but will not allow students to play moderate or high-risk sports.That means no football, cheering, field hockey and soccer. The MPA’s guidelines also do not allow for tackle football or indoor volleyball at any Maine school this fall.Parent Linda Flagg said the decision, which covers middle and high school sports is a disappointing one. “It’s not just, ‘Oh my kid can’t play sports.’ It’s what is the long term mental health effect that this is going to have on these children?” Flagg said.A football program could be developed that would not involve playing other schools, which could include flag or touch football to limit contact with other players.“My rights are being taken away as a parent. I should be able to decide with my child what is best for them. A parent has nothing but unconditional love for their child and they would not put them in harm’s way,” Flagg said.The school board also considered allowing competitions for moderate-risk sports if all players wore face coverings on the field, which the MPA has guidelines for but are not mandated.The school board ultimately rejected the proposal because they did not feel they could mandate opponents to wear masks.

Hours after the Maine Principals’ Association issued new guidelines allowing for regional play of field hockey and soccer, one Maine school district has said no to those sports this fall.

The Regional School Unit 73 School Board Thursday night approved the play of low risk sports like golf and cross country in the Mountain Valley Conference but will not allow students to play moderate or high-risk sports.

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That means no football, cheering, field hockey and soccer. The MPA’s guidelines also do not allow for tackle football or indoor volleyball at any Maine school this fall.

Parent Linda Flagg said the decision, which covers middle and high school sports is a disappointing one.

“It’s not just, ‘Oh my kid can’t play sports.’ It’s what is the long term mental health effect that this is going to have on these children?” Flagg said.

A football program could be developed that would not involve playing other schools, which could include flag or touch football to limit contact with other players.

“My rights are being taken away as a parent. I should be able to decide with my child what is best for them. A parent has nothing but unconditional love for their child and they would not put them in harm’s way,” Flagg said.

The school board also considered allowing competitions for moderate-risk sports if all players wore face coverings on the field, which the MPA has guidelines for but are not mandated.

The school board ultimately rejected the proposal because they did not feel they could mandate opponents to wear masks.