Youth, recreation sports await green light to have seasons

Similar to high school sports, recreation and youth sports programs are waiting for the green light to hold their seasons.The Southern Maine Youth Football League gives players from third to eighth grade a chance to play. They have aligned their return to play with the Maine Principal Association’s ruling, which means a delayed season.The MPA gave the OK to high school sports, but schools are waiting for the state to approve the MPA’s plan. Then it will be up to local districts to decide whether to go ahead with high school sports.That has a trickle-down effect on youth sports.“We would have started practices, conditioning, two weeks ago. We would have first game at the middle school level two days ago. The kids are ready, but we are just waiting for that big thumbs up,” Southern Maine Youth Football League President Michael Carboneau said.Soccer Maine has jurisdiction over 500 U-14 and under teams. They’ve been told soccer will be dropped to a moderate risk sport from a high-risk sport under community guidelines.That would allow soccer to be played, but the clock is ticking.“Sept. 1 was our drop-dead date. That’s two weeks before play starts, a little less, for us. That’s tomorrow, and we still don’t have an update in writing that’s published, so clubs are going to be clamoring for an answer from me tomorrow,” Soccer Maine Executive Director Shari Levesque said.The Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department decided to forego travel teams for sports.“Again, everyone was sort of waiting on the MPA. If high school sports was going to be shut down, it was going to be hard to justify traveling ourselves,” Old Orchard Beach recreation programmer Tyler Stewart said.Like high schools, recreation and community sports will ultimately be a local decision, according to Maine Recreation and Parks Association Executive Director Deb Smith said.“Our national organization doesn’t tell us this is what you need to do. It wouldn’t happen. The people in Bangor and north, they don’t want someone from southern Maine to tell them what to do. Their situation is different. Some of those towns have already started,” Smith said.

Similar to high school sports, recreation and youth sports programs are waiting for the green light to hold their seasons.

The Southern Maine Youth Football League gives players from third to eighth grade a chance to play. They have aligned their return to play with the Maine Principal Association’s ruling, which means a delayed season.

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The MPA gave the OK to high school sports, but schools are waiting for the state to approve the MPA’s plan. Then it will be up to local districts to decide whether to go ahead with high school sports.

That has a trickle-down effect on youth sports.

“We would have started practices, conditioning, two weeks ago. We would have first game at the middle school level two days ago. The kids are ready, but we are just waiting for that big thumbs up,” Southern Maine Youth Football League President Michael Carboneau said.

Soccer Maine has jurisdiction over 500 U-14 and under teams. They’ve been told soccer will be dropped to a moderate risk sport from a high-risk sport under community guidelines.

That would allow soccer to be played, but the clock is ticking.

“Sept. 1 was our drop-dead date. That’s two weeks before play starts, a little less, for us. That’s tomorrow, and we still don’t have an update in writing that’s published, so clubs are going to be clamoring for an answer from me tomorrow,” Soccer Maine Executive Director Shari Levesque said.

The Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department decided to forego travel teams for sports.

“Again, everyone was sort of waiting on the MPA. If high school sports was going to be shut down, it was going to be hard to justify traveling ourselves,” Old Orchard Beach recreation programmer Tyler Stewart said.

Like high schools, recreation and community sports will ultimately be a local decision, according to Maine Recreation and Parks Association Executive Director Deb Smith said.

“Our national organization doesn’t tell us this is what you need to do. It wouldn’t happen. The people in Bangor and north, they don’t want someone from southern Maine to tell them what to do. Their situation is different. Some of those towns have already started,” Smith said.