Midland Lacrosse is very excited about the prospect of returning to play this spring, but we also realize that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant concern for the safety of our families and community. Based on the guidance we have received from sports and public health authorities (e.g. US Lacrosse, NFHS, MHSAA, and MDHHS), we believe that we can have a safe spring lacrosse season if we observe reasonable precautions related to masking, social distancing, and hygiene.
The COVID-related risk associated with any activity will depend both on the inherent risk of the activity and on the prevailing community infection rate. US Lacrosse and the NFHS have indicated that they believe that "...prevailing community infection rates appear to be the strongest predictor for high school athletes being infected, and proven cases of direct COVID-19 transmission during athletics remain relatively rare" (LINK) and that "...the sport of boys’ and girls’ lacrosse does not carry a high risk of coronavirus transmission or infection" (LINK). The NFHS and US Lacrosse have also highlighted the "...accumulating evidence that the majority of sports-related spread of COVID-19 appears to occur from social contact, not during sports participation" (LINK).
The MHSAA published procedures/rules related to lacrosse and COVID safety on March 12 (LINK).
To highlight a couple bullets from the MHSAA about face coverings:
Please consult the MHSAA document (LINK) for more detail about procedures (including info about acceptable face coverings).
As of March 5, the updated MDHHS orders (LINK) allow for:
US Lacrosse has published extensive recommendations and return to play guidelines (LINK). Given the current MDHHS orders listed above, we are currently in a situation corresponding to Stage Five of the US Lacrosse return to play, and we anticipate that those Stage Five guidelines (available in that previous link) will be the ones most relevant for us during the spring season.
US Lacrosse and NFHS have also published a set of COVID points of emphasis for boy's lacrosse describing prudent safety precautions for pregame, in-game, and postgame: LINK
The MDHHS has also published an interim guidance for athletics on Feb 7 that can be read here: LINK
For reference, you can also view the COVID-19 protocols of one of our peer clubs (Forest Hills Central): LINK
Although we don't know for sure what the state of COVID-19 transmission in our community will be 1-2 months from now, the recent trend has been good and the warming weather and progress on vaccinations are reasons for additional optimism. If conditions change, we anticipate that the associated guidelines and restrictions may change and may require us to adjust our plan.
We hope that this gives you a good understanding of what we currently know, what our plan is for COVID safety, and who we are looking to for guidance about how to have a safe spring season.