SCARBOROUGH — On Sept. 17, the Scarborough Board of Education discussed the challenges that the athletics and activities department is facing, including the recent decision to cancel the middle school athletic decision.

The Southern Maine Middle School Association decided not to sponsor a middle school fall season this year on Sept. 16, Michael LeGage, athletics and activities director for Scarborough public schools, said. Part of the reason, he said, is that middle school athletics face different challenges than the high school level.

As of Sept. 17, Scarborough Middle School administrators were still consideringwhat the school would do for activities, LeGage said, and noted if there is an athletic season of some sort, it will need to be intramural.

One challenge the middle school faces with sports is having an, LeGage said.

Another problem that is specific to the middle school level involves the COVID-19 screening forms, LeGage said. Students are required to fill out an online screening form by 11 a.m. the day of a scheduled after-school activity.

If a high school student does not complete the form, the student can be sent home, but a middle school student may have difficulty finding transportation and cannot be forced to leave.

Even though the middle school is facing issues, there isn’t anything “insurmountable,” LeGage said.

While the Middle School Association isn’t sponsoring sports for schools under its jurisdiction, the Maine Prinicpal’s Association is allowing high school sports. High school athletics and activities are returning for a nine-week season this fall, but there have been changes to each sport, LeGage said. Updates and requirements can be found on www.scarboroughathletics.org/covid-19.

Sports are also only allowed under Maine Principal Association’s guidelines if a county is in the “Green” zone, he said. The green, yellow, and red levels system is a tool used by the Maine Department of Education to monitor the severity of the spread of COVID-19.

“If we go into yellow mode, athletics is over,” LeGage said. “That’s what’s happening in York County right now. They’re not able to do anything, which is half of our league. So all the teams we’re playing are all Cumberland County schools. It’s still the same plan, eight games for soccer and field hockey and those things. We can go up until Nov. 14. It’s cold. It gets dark early. We’re going to have to see how that goes, but we’re able to go up to Nov. 14 for the fall season.”

Coaches are required to have eight to 10 certifications or courses complete, LeGage said. This year a COVID-19 training course has been added to the list.

As the situation is still changing each week and as more updates are made, Scarborough Athletics will continue to keep families posted, he said. The Scarborough Athletics’s website contains a Frequently Asked Questions section.

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