Phase 3 rules for Town Re facilities: Outdoor Basketball & Volleyball reopened for limited use

by beth on July 9, 2020

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Above: Southborough’s outdoor basketball courts have been off limits for months. That changed this week. Still, there are restrictions, and don’t expect to find a port-a-potty on site. (2019 image from Facebook)

Step 1 of the states Phase 3 for reopening allowed even more recreation facilities to open and some rules to relax this week. Today, Southborough Recreation posted its updated guidelines for using Town facilities.

It’s worth pointing out the Town’s continuing caveat. Any of these reopenings/allowances may be rolled back based on local health data or if the rules aren’t being followed.

Below are the broad strokes on what is changing. Important details are in the Town’s announcement. (Safety guidelines about facemasks still apply.)

Basketball & Volleyball Courts

The Town lifted bans on use of the last of its outdoor courts. (Tennis was already allowed.) The memo lays out Town rules and points players to the state’s new guidance for more details on safety.

Outdoor Basketball Courts reopened for limited play

The hoops are finally reopened for limited use. It looks like you can shoot hoops, play HORSE, or run practice drills, but no pickup games will be allowed.

  • Outdoor basketball courts are now open to the public. Basketball has been classified as a Higher Risk activity. This characterization is determined by: Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.
  • Courts must be [used] for Level 1 play: Individual or socially distanced group activities (nocontact workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work, and drills)

Volleyball Court reopened for (non-permitted) free play

Last month, I shared that the beach volleyball court at Neary would be reopened for drop-in play. It looks like the net wasn’t put back up in June after all. But it was for Phase 3.  The memo details:

  • Volleyball is now permitted outdoors. Volleyball has been classified as a Moderate Risk activity. This characterization is determined by: Sports or activities that involve intermittent contact, but with protective equipment or mitigating measures in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants (e.g., wearing masks, modifying play)
  • The volleyball court is to be used for recreation purposes only. Any organized groups utilizing the court unpermitted will be asked to leave.

Still closed – Trash cans and Restrooms

For now, the Town is continuing to ask the public to follow a “Carry In, Carry Out” policy for trash. Public restrooms and porta potties will still not be available.

Athletic Practices and Competitions

It turns out, the Town’s document doesn’t include much in the way of an impact to athletic competitions and practices. For that, the public is referred to the state’s guidance. It defines  low, moderate, and high risk categories for sports and activities. Guidance on what “level” of play/activities is allowed depends on the sport’s risk category.

According to Recreation Director Tim Davis, his department has been closely working with permitted field users about the revised practices currently in effect.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 No Littering July 11, 2020 at 9:17 AM

How about some signage on Middle and Parkerville Roads where people are seen fishing almost year around? Most people seem to pick up after themselves, however there are quite a few who leave behind cups, bait containers, empty cigarette packs and snack bags.

It’s a real blight on these areas – the fishing access points.

Does anyone from the State ever stop by and check for fishing licenses?

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