After a nearly five month hiatus, adult and youth recreation activities are allowed to resume throughout Vermont.
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development updated its guidance on Friday, allowing for recreational sports to resume. The state initially suspended adult recreation back in November due to rising COVID-19 cases statewide.
Effective immediately, both indoor and outdoor recreation can participate in individual skill exercises, strength and conditioning sessions and drills with incidental contact. Low and moderate-risk sports may also schedule games and competitions.
Both high risk indoor (wrestling, martial arts) and outdoor (football and rugby) sports are allowed to begin competition April 23.
For the Southern Vermont Storm — a semi professional football team that calls Willow Park its home — the guidance allows them to once play on their home field, Storm Stadium.
Storm general manager Chris Cipperley called the news “a sense of relief.”
The Storm had to shift its home games to Keene, New Hampshire for the 2020 season due to Vermont guidance that prohibited tackle football at the time.
Cipperley said he still has contingency plans in place, including once again using the Keene, New Hampshire field if guidance were to change, but as of now the plan is for the Storm to play its home games in Bennington.
“We’re hoping that as we move along, things continue to improve, and as long as they continue to improve, we’ll be able to play our home games here in Bennington,” Cipperley said. “That’s going to be a big deal for us, because it’s been a long time.”
The Storm haven’t played in Bennington since October of 2019.
A maximum of 150 fans will be allowed to attend outdoor events.
The guidance will follow a similar structure to the winter high school sports season, which allowed a maximum of two games per week.
Adult and youth recreational organizations will be able to play a maximum of three games/competitions per week.
Tournament-style play may resume on June 18. Out-of-state teams must comply with state guidance for travel-related quarantine.
Vermont residents who belong to a team, club or organization in a bordering state may participate in practice sessions with their team.