ST. LOUIS COUNTY – St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page officially announced the changes coming to fall youth sports during a press conference this morning. Student athletes in multiple fall high school sports in St. Louis county won’t be allowed to compete in games this fall because of COVID-19 concerns.
Games also will not be allowed for what are classified as high-frequency contact sports in St. Louis County this fall no matter age.
The new guidelines take effect on September 11, 2020. They were posted to St. Louis County’s Coronavirus News website this morning. They say that youth sports are a risk factor in spreading COVID-19 and that parents should consider this before signing their children up to play.
Page said the COVID-19 positivity rate for teens 15 to 19 years old in St. Louis County is 20% and that is simply too high to let some sports go forward. The key sport in that category is high school football; basketball is also on that list.
For moderate frequency contact sports there will be no games for kids 14 and older in sports including soccer and volleyball. For kids under 14 in this moderate frequency category, games will be allowed but there will be no tournaments and no spectators.
Low contact sports will be allowed to have competition but again there will be no tournaments and no spectators.
Practices can still take place for all sports but social distancing must be practiced and masks must be worn by everyone except players when they are engaged in vigorous physical activity. Teams are limited to 30 or fewer athletes.
Page says while there has not been a definitive connection made between a high school sporting event and COVID-19 cases, the risk of transmission is a significant issue.
Page is advising schools to move the impacted falls sports to the spring.
He says schools have until September 17th to let the Missouri State High School Activities Association know if they are making that move.
There are no limits on high-contact sports for players under the age of 14. Games are allowed but no tournaments. Spectators are also barred from attending the games.
All ages may participate in low-contact sports. Teens over the age of 14 are not allowed to have games between teams for moderate-contact sports. Spectators are also not allowed.
- High-frequency of contact sports: basketball, boxing, ice hockey tackle/flag/touch football, lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, water polo, and wrestling.
- Moderate-frequency of contact sports: baseball, cheerleading, crew/rowing, dance team, fencing, floor hockey, field hockey, racquetball, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball.
- Low-frequency of contact sports: diving, extreme sports, gymnastics, rodeo, water skiing, adventure racing, bicycling, canoeing/kayaking, field events (high jump, pole vault, javelin, shot-put), golf, handball, horseback riding, skating (ice, in-line, roller), skateboarding, weight lifting, windsurfing, badminton, bodybuilding, bowling, orienteering, fishing, riflery, rope jumping, running, sailing, scuba diving, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and track.