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Spring sports: A return to normalcy?

The high school spring athletic season has the potential to be a bit more normal than the previous two, given relaxed guidelines issued by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association on March 12. The MIAA Board of Directors voted to approve play for each of the five sports Bromfield typically participates in, as well as tentative MIAA-sponsored postseason competition. The MIAA COVID-19 Task Force also recommended that the MIAA return to a standard three-season structure for the 2021-22 school year.

Bromfield Athletic Director Dave Boisvert said the Bromfield School plans to participate in all five of its typical spring sports: baseball, lacrosse, softball, tennis, and outdoor track and field. The season is set to begin April 26 and will run later than usual, ending July 3. Boisvert said it has not yet been determined whether Bromfield will compete against schools within its regular league or if competition will be conducted within pods as it was during the fall and winter.

Spectators will again be allowed to attend high school sporting events in Massachusetts when in compliance with guidance from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Boisvert said that Bromfield will likely allow two spectators per athlete at its events.

The guidance does not signify a full return to normal, though. Athletes, coaches, and spectators will need to social distance and wear masks. There will be no handshakes or huddling, use of benches will be limited, and anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms should not attend practice or competition. The MIAA issued additional sport-specific guidance for each of the 10 approved sports, which continue to limit some types of play.

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