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Howard County lifting restrictions regarding outdoor recreation sports

Posted at 9:41 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 23:12:48-05

The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, and it’s been really tough on our student athletes and everyday rec players who miss the togetherness you find on a field or court.

On Friday, Howard County will be lifting some of its restrictions.

The county announced that outdoor rec sports can now move to 50 percent capacity or 250 people.

With cases on the rise in November only 25 people were allowed on outdoor fields at a time.

Rec leagues are excited because this means competition is back and they can have more people on the fields.

For high school sports, they didn’t have a winter season, but they were able to start their fall season this past weekend.

On a cold winter night there’s nowhere the kids on the the fields at Blandair Park would rather be than kicking the ball around with friends.

Carmen Juliano had just wrapped up coaching a practice with Ellicot City Soccer Club when we caught up with him about the changes.

“Knowing that it’s going to go back to normal or close to it by that change in the guidelines,” said Juliano. “You can exhale.”

With that breath of fresh air announcement, two teams can practice on a field, and they can start having full games again.

“It’s great that we can play 11 vs 11 with some referees and coaches and the subs can be on the sidelines and we can play normal soccer games.”

Raul Delerme is the Director of Howard County Recs and Sports.

“A lacrosse team has a lot more than 25 kids on it. We should be able to get more players on our fields and have real games.”

Delerme said they will follow all CDC guidelines and require coaches to wear masks and players when they aren’t in the game.

“There will be no spectators to start with, but we will allow one per child to be at the games,” said Delerme. “Again they will have to social distance from each other. They won’t allowed on the field but on the perimeter of the field. No congregating with teams trying to keep everyone separated so we can avoid anything. The bleachers and dugouts will be still closed at this time so people aren’t sitting too close together.”

While school sports are back there won’t be any statewide competitions anymore just because of the COVID numbers and different restrictions in counties across the state.

Howard County also eased restrictions on Indoor recreational sports and programs to host 50 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.

Wedding receptions and social and fraternal organizations can now host up to 50 percent capacity.