State assemblyman joins calls to create youth football protocols
Since Long Island started to reopen, many New York residents have been able to hit the field or court. But some sports still remain off-limits at this point.
State Assemblyman Mike LiPetri, of Massapequa Park, is standing alongside some parents and kids who are calling on the governor to come up with guidelines for youth football this fall.
LiPetri says sports like football been considered high-risk for COVID-19 transmission, so teams haven't been able to fully practice. They're not certain they'll have a season this year, and some leagues have already canceled.
The Suffolk Youth Football League has already canceled its 2020 season, but the Nassau side of things is still holding out hope.
The assemblyman says teams like the Massapequa Mustangs have come up with protocols to keep their players safe.
"More than ever, it's crucial to protect our kids' character, their mental health and their physical fitness. We want them out there on the field playing with others, socializing, engaging and developing that teamwork environment," says LiPetri.
In addition to temperature checks, the Mustangs installed splash guards on every player's helmet so kids can't sweat, cough or sneeze on one another. They would also wear masks and break into smaller groups during drills.
According to medical experts, playing contact sports is something of particular concern. Stony Brook Hospital's Dr. Sharon Nachman says the virus can still spread among people who don't have a fever.
"Kids on the field, chasing after each other, piling up on each other ... the face-to-face contact that football has in particular is of concern," says Nachman.