Carrboro lifts masks mandate for indoor and outside grownup sports activities leagues

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After two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, all adult indoor and outdoor athletic leagues operated by Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources no longer require masks.

The mandate was lifted on April 4 after Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools dropped their mask requirements. All indoor and outdoor facilities are now fully functional.

“We follow school system guidelines,” said Charles Harrington, Recreation Administrator for Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources. “We must respect their policies and procedures.”

The changes also apply to adult volleyball drop-in sessions, which were suspended in March 2020, shortly after the pandemic began. Open play sessions resumed in late March this year and are scheduled to continue through May 12.

Although the mandate has expired, Ryan Reed, recreation director at the Carrboro Department of Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources, said participants are still asked to use their best judgment during play.

“Players are no longer required to wear masks indoors, but they’re still asking everyone to use their best judgment,” he said.

“Healthy for a Community”

Reed said drop-in-play events have seen lower attendance since they reopened in March. At least half of the open-play volleyball session on March 31 was unattended.

But adults are finding ways to stay active in the community despite the drop in attendance. The adult Ultimate Frisbee League has held three seasons since reopening in spring 2021, Reed said.

But since the reopening, the attendance in the league has remained constant with 70 players.

Ultimate Frisbee League player Becki Cleveland said one possible reason for the lower attendance is that people still have concerns about COVID-19.

“Some people are still a bit suspicious of the situation for obvious reasons, so we haven’t really gotten our full membership back,” she said.

However, Reed said the league has not reported any COVID-19 cases since reopening.

Mandy Davis, who serves as the Ultimate Frisbee League team captain, said most team members had received their vaccinations and unvaccinated individuals were encouraged to wear masks during practice.

She said the loss of the team during the pandemic is having a negative social impact on players.

“We really missed it,” she said. “It has isolated and fragmented players.”

Cleveland said the local leagues offer an option for those who want to join a team but don’t have the time to commute to more distant options and can be especially beneficial for those with children.

“You can’t just take off and drive 45 minutes each way to play a two-hour game and then come back,” she said. “It’s just annoying.”

It allows community members to get more involved in Carrboro athletics.

Reed noted that adult athletic leagues can also help foster relationships between members of the community, especially for new Carrboro residents.

“It’s good to get out there, to exercise – it creates a lot of camaraderie,” he said.

@ZoeWerner356

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