Erie County clears the way for young athletes to get back in action

Local News

(WIVB)–The State Health Department has been making all the rules for amateur participation in sports, to slow the spread of the coronavirus putting the brakes on those events officials consider “high risk.”

Over the weekend, they changed that. 

State health officials consider contact sports such as football, lacrosse, and field hockey “high risk” and sidelined the young athletes from formally competing.

Those are popular sports, and the amateur athletes, especially hockey players, their parents, and coaches, have been fighting back uniting under the theme, “Return to Play.”

Over the weekend, the State Health Department changed its guidance turning the risk assessments over to local health officials.

Attorney Corey Hogan says the sports ban is doing kids more harm than good.  

“There is big time damage here. It is going to exist–going to go on for a while–it may never go away completely. But the longer we do it the more difficult it is going to be to bring these kids back to some optimistic view of the future in their education,” Hogan said.

Hogan is preparing a lawsuit against the state’s prohibition on youth sports, but told us, the state’s new guidance might render the lawsuit moot if the various county health departments reach a consensus on the resuming amateur sports.

Local school officials told us, the new guidance was issued last Friday, and the school sports groups were directed to work with their county health departments and come up with a plan by next Monday.

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