What the Massachusetts reopening plan means for recreational sports

Starting May 25, some athletic fields and courts can reopen.

Ray Green, 81, smiles as his doubles partner Selwyn Dyette, 65, arrives to the court before playing doubles at the Sportsmen's Tennis Enrichment Center. Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

As part of the Mass. reopening plan outlined by Governor Charlie Baker on Monday, recreational sports will be allowed back in stages.

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Here’s what the plan says about sports:

Phase 1: Start

As part of Phase 1, on May 25:

  • Some athletic fields and courts can reopen.
  • Many outdoor adventure activities can reopen. This includes summer activities at ski areas, zip-lines, and mountain biking.
  • Most hunting, fishing, and boating activities can resume.

Each phase will last no shorter than three weeks, according to the state. Mass. will only move onto the next phase once benchmarks like a lowering positive COVID-19 test rate, a lowering number of people in hospitals, fewer deaths daily, and expanded testing are reached.

Phase 2: Cautious

Phase 2 will begin after the state meets benchmarks set in place. As part of Phase 2:

  • All athletic fields and courts, with guidelines, can reopen.
  • Public and community pools can reopen.
  • Some youth sports can resume.

Phase 3: Vigilant

In the third phase, which will begin after at least three weeks in Phase 2, reopening will include the following:

  • Youth sports can resume games and tournaments with limited crowd sizes.
  • Indoor recreation (batting cages, etc.) can reopen.
  • Gyms and fitness studios can reopen. The state is considering allowing personal training and outdoor classes to open sooner.

Phase 4: The New Normal

Under the final phase, large arenas and stadiums will be allowed to reopen. The state has yet to announce a plan to allow fans back into stadiums.

Leaders in many pro sports cities have said that fans will not be in attendance until at least 2021 in an effort to constrict the virus’s spread. 

What’s already open

Restrictions on golf were lifted in early May, and courses will need to continue to follow precautions put in place. Those include required tee times, the continued closure of clubhouses and pro shops, and no carts.

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