MPA Loosens Restrictions, Coaches Able To Communicate Now

MPA Loosens Restrictions, Coaches Able To Communicate Now

The Maine Prinicipal's Association met on Friday and loosened previous restrictions of the hands off period. Below is the email sent to MPA member schools.

Dear MPA Members,

Hopefully this memo finds you, your families, and your staff, healthy and keeping a positive focus as we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis. We recently held a meeting with the chairperson of each of the MPA spring sports committees, as well as the chair of the MPA Sports Medicine Committee, to discuss the upcoming spring season. First and foremost we encourage each of you to pay careful attention to the recommendations that are coming from our state government and the Maine CDC as those are providing us with crucial information as we move forward. Below please find a few points from our meeting that will hopefully help schools.

  • All recommendations align with the those established by the State of Maine, the Maine CDC, the Maine Department of Education, and those established by local municipalities. This would include recommendations around group gatherings, social distancing, and "stay at home" orders.
  • The 2020 spring sport season is currently on hold until we have a better idea of what is happening with this virus. The start date of April 27th, which we are all hoping that we might be able to have as a start date, is apt to change as circumstances change. As we move into the spring we will closely monitor the situation and will work with the MPA Board of Directors, the MPA Interscholastic Management Committee, and each individual sport committee, as decisions about the spring season are being made. Should we be able to have a spring season, even if it is a shortened season, we will work with our MPA Sports Medicine Committee to establish guidelines for the preseason.
  • We all know the important role that coaches play in the lives of our student/athletes and that these young people are reaching out to coaches for some guidance and direction. While we support coaches communicating with their athletes there are a number of points that we felt should be stressed prior to any communication with athletes.
  • All districts have Social Media Policies in place. Any communication between coaches and athletes must follow that policy.
  • Coaches should encourage their athletes to be active. Being outside and physically active is not only healthy but helps relieve the stress that so many people are feeling in this time of uncertainty.
  • Coaches should be encouraging and communicating with their athletes about the importance of keeping up with the academic work.
  • No activity suggested by a coach should be "mandatory". Coaches should not be collecting data about workouts and should not be using that as a tool in team selection once the spring gets started.
  • All recommendations should focus on individual workouts. Coaches should not be encouraging athletes to come together for a team workout, including "captain's practices".
  • We are currently working with each individual sport committee, and their respective coaches association to develop a list of recommended drills and workouts that coaches may share with their athletes.
  • We thank each one of you for the crucial role that you play in making the health and safety of everyone in your school and community your top priority.

The MPA spring sports was set to begin on Monday March 30th for Track & Field. The pandemic known as Coronavirus has shut down schools nationwide, forcing online learning for students. Whether or not students will return to school this spring, and be able to have a sports season remains up in the air. However the new clarification from the MPA will allow coaches to communicate with team members, and even suggest training that should be done solo and not in groups. Back on March 17th the MPA had sent a reminder that this period of time until April 27th should be consider a hands-off period.

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