Baseball and softball have already been given the green light to return in June. Now, others may be on the way too.
At his daily COVID-19 press briefing, Governor Pete Ricketts outlined changes to upcoming Statewide Directed Health Measures. Among the changes were categories of sports by contact level based on guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics Classification of Sports According to Contact.
“They published a document that had contact sports in it,” said Ricketts. “Whether it was non-contact, limited contact and so forth. And we’re really looking at the categories for non-contact and limited contact.”
The contact in the document includes contact with other participants, the ground, and other objects. Contact sports that will continue to be prohibited are basketball, tackle football, soccer, and wrestling. All of those sports are on first column under contact.
Also listed in that section is rodeo, but will be allowed due to not having contact with other people.
The two categories of non-contact and limited contact are allowed which include the sports of baseball, bowling, flag or touch football, golf, horseback riding, softball, swimming, tennis, all track and field events, and volleyball.
While the first announcement on the return to sports was just for youth sports, Ricketts said this update is for both youth and adults. These means rodeos both on their own and at county fairs plus a majority of the events at the Cornhusker State Games will be able to go on this summer. Adult softball leagues could also begin.
Of the top questions on the mind of Husker fans, though, is how this affects Nebraska sports. The NCAA Division I Council voted this week to approve voluntary on-campus activities for football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball beginning June 1. Those activities are expected to be largely in a strength and conditioning atmosphere. This means no footballs being thrown around or basketball one-on-one drills for the time being, so there is no discrepancy between the new DHM and the NCAA decision.
For Husker volleyball, the sport did not get approval for voluntary team activities by the NCAA, but under the upcoming Statewide DHM, players could meet on their own to play sand volleyball or at a facility where a court and a net are available. If meeting at a facility, which would need to be outside the university, they would need to still follow the gym and weight room DHM requirments.