Olympic Peninsula Sports Family,
We wanted to provide an update on what we’ve been up to at Oly-Pen Sports Center. We are actively working with Washington state elected officials on a plan that will allow us to reopen for league play. When given the green light, with some operational modifications and new safety protocols, we are confident we can reopen safely for those of you that are ready to come back.
We have formed an alliance with nearly 30 other indoor sports facilities across the state called Washington Indoor Sports Alliance (WISA). We are supporting Arena Sports, who has taken a leadership role in WISA and recently made presentations to one of the Governor’s key advisors and to the Department of Health to make our case for reopening. The presentations were well-received with very positive feedback. They recommended that we provide similar local presentations to our local health officials – which we have done. Additional meetings and guidance are in the works.
Here’s a summary of the presentation and arguments for opening back up:
Nationwide research has shown that in the 34 U.S. states that are open for indoor league play, there have been no reported COVID infections as a result of participation in league games or other programs offered by the indoor facilities. Here’s an example of one fitness industry study.
Health experts suggest the physical and mental health benefits of staying active far outweigh the potential for the spread of COVID in organized sports, both indoor and outdoor. Learn more.
Studies have shown that the incidence of close contact during a game is limited and falls below the duration thought to represent sufficient exposure for viral transmission. In a new study from the University of Wisconsin involving 90,000 youth soccer players, “the incidence of reported COVID-19 cases among youth soccer players is not increased compared to the national pediatric case rate.”
One comparison: based on average square footage and occupancy limits, at a typical “big box” store, shoppers have an average of 60 square feet per person compared to indoor soccer players, who have an average of 1,300+ square feet per person.
By modifying rules and operational procedures (we provided a list of suggested modifications in the presentation used by indoor centers already open in other states), we are confident we can provide a safe environment for returning to play.
The shutdown and restrictions on our industry have caused two indoor sports facilities in Washington state and many others nationwide to permanently close down due to the catastrophic financial impact – we do not plan on becoming one of those statistics.
Most indoor sports facilities, including Oly-Pen Sports, have had to lay off most part- and full-time staff to stay afloat. Delaying reopening will lead to more facilities permanently closing.
Help Us Make the Case for Reopening
Reach out to your local congress member or senator and urge them to reopen organized indoor and outdoor recreation. The data is there to support the fact that the benefits of physical exercise outweigh the risks of the virus spreading through organized sports, especially when safeguards are put in place.
We will keep you posted on any progress we make towards being able to reopen for league play. In the meantime, We hope you and your families are staying healthy and active!
Olympic Peninsula Sports