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Aug, 2020

Season Postponed

Dear Gators,

 

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented public health crisis. Our organization, the North Hays Optimist (NHO) cannot with good faith conduct our Football and Cheer Program for this fall season, as normal.  We do realize this is an immeasurable disappointment and devastation for so many of our youth athletes and parents. Since our world has halted from the COVID-19 pandemic, our NHO board came to this decision focused on our youth-athletes and family members whom we are unequivocally committed to serving. We cannot with good conscience risk the lives of or most vulnerable, our Grandparents. As we face our new reality together, we ask that our Parent’s volunteer to help this organization plan for a possible spring season, with safety being the number one priority. 

 

Currently, the CDC guiding principles for youth sports is a risk-based approach. Please visit their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/youth-sports.html.

 

There are several actions youth sports organizations can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread during competition and practice. The more people a child or coach interacts with, the closer the physical interaction, the more sharing of equipment there is by multiple players, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Therefore, risk of COVID-19 spread can be different, depending on the type of activity. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth sports settings as follows: 

 

Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.

Increasing Risk: Team-based practice.

More Risk: Within-team competition.

Even More Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area.

Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.

 

If organizations are not able to keep in place safety measures during competition (for example, maintaining social distancing by keeping children six feet apart at all times), they may consider dropping down a level and limiting participation to within-team competition only (for example, scrimmages between members of the same team) or team-based practices only. Similarly, if organizations are unable to put in place safety measures during team-based activities, they may choose individual or at-home activities, especially if any members of the team are at high-risk for severe illness.

 

If there is spring season, we need a risk-based approach that may include:

  • Focusing on individual skill building versus competition. 
  • Minimizing equipment sharing, and cleaning and disinfecting equipment between use to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. 
  • During times when players are not actively participating in practice or competition, attention should be given to maintaining social distancing by increasing space between players. 
  • We may ask parents to provide water to our youth athletes and monitor social distance guidelines and other protective measures. 
  • We may limit any nonessential visitors, spectators, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations.

 

Our organization is monitoring the CDC guidelines, although there is some discourse within the Texas Pop Warner league. Five (5) Hill Country teams have decided to go on with the fall season starting October 10th. We as an organization, as well as, all the remaining Texas Pop Warner leagues and teams, believe at this time we cannot safely return to “Football as usual”. 

 

If you would like to volunteer or have suggestions on how the Gator’s can successfully have a spring season with safety measures in place, please contact Mr. Grayson Turner and/or our NHO board members. This pandemic is so much greater than sports. We stand committed to our youth-athletes, families and the Hays community. 

 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. In these uncertain times, we are especially grateful to have dedicated individuals like you in our Gator’s Family. We will send a monthly update on Facebook including the latest CDC recommendations, as well as, updates to our possible spring season. We wish you the best and look forward to seeing you again soon.

 

The welfare of the state depends upon the morals of its citizens!

 

Sincerely,

Mr. Grayson Turner

President

 

 

 

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