Scarborough Public Schools - Resocialization of Interscholastic Athletics and Activities Programs
Throughout this challenging time, when the time is right, Scarborough will play again. As the Governor begins to implement reopening phases for Maine, it is appropriate to consider guidance for the safe resocialization of interscholastic activities. The guidance offered in this document is based on our department’s core values and beliefs and student-centered decision-making.
Scarborough Public School’s Position on Resocialization
Scarborough believes that it is essential to the physical, mental, and social-emotional well-being of Maine students to safely re-engage in extracurricular experiences, physical activity, and athletic competition. Returning to play does not mean a return to “normal”. While re-socializing to activity we are still responsible for doing our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Any consideration of returning to physical activity and athletic competition must adhere to all requirements set forth under the executive orders of Governor Mills, account for the health and safety of all participants, and equitably provide opportunities for all student-athletes. Scarborough’s guidelines are in accordance with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC). The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, the State of Maine’s Governor's Stay Safe Orders, The Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) Sports Medicine Committee, the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and the Southwestern Maine Activities Association (SMAA)
Interscholastic Sports and COVID-19
Consideration of a safe return to interscholastic sports must be with an understanding that COVID-19 is born out of a global health pandemic. This is a health issue, not a sport issue, nor an education issue. Sports have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and our student-athletes significantly affected. However, it is our primary responsibility to provide safe physical activity that does not contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Our decisions should also come from a mindset that there is still much to be learned about COVID-19. A safe return to interscholastic activity requires a gradual phase-in approach that accounts for participant and community safety.
The sudden closure of school and recreational activities has left student-athletes without structured physical activity since mid-March. A safe return to interscholastic athletic experiences must account for the de-conditioning which may have occurred during this prolonged departure from normal physical conditioning and skill development. Prolonged inactivity can result in decreased cardiovascular function, decreased pulmonary function, muscle atrophy, and skill regression. In addition, acclimation to the environment should be considered. The last time student-athletes engaged in structured physical activity was during the cool weather month of March. Traditionally, student-athletes progressively acclimate to physical activity in warmer weather over the months of April, May, and June. Returning to game play scenarios in late June or early July without a structured re-conditioning program could be dangerous for our young athletes. Now, perhaps more than ever, the likelihood for overuse injuries due to significant de-conditioning is high.
Scarborough will play again and come together as an athletic community following the guidelines set forth to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.