Pressure from parents, sports leagues and some politicians looks like it paid off — Mayor de Blasio has reversed a policy that made fields in city parks available on a first come first served basis.
The policy was meant as a safety measure, the city said. But kids’ sports groups said it would make it difficult if not impossible for them to operate their leagues in a predictable way. A petition to change it garnered more than 8,000 signatures.
Under the new policy, the city is limiting the kinds of permitted sports allowed, and could change the policy if Covid conditions change:
City athletic fields have been opened for first come, first served, socially distanced play throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Now, youth sports leagues will be issued permits for organized outdoor play. Permitted sports will include baseball, softball and soccer. Indoor sports, including swimming, will not be permitted. Leagues must enforce the following regulations:
- Face coverings must be worn by all coaches, staff, spectators, and players on the sidelines; players are encouraged to wear while playing if possible
- Social distancing must always be practiced by all when not active in game play
- Spectators must be limited to two per player
- All must leave the field post game, there shall be no congregating
Parks will monitor league activities; if a team accumulates three violations, Parks will revoke that league’s permits.
If New York City’s percentage of positive COVID-19 tests exceed three percent positivity, permits will be suspended for all sports.