Is it time to let kids back on the basketball courts? Some parents in Rome thinks so.

Arthur Bentley, who has two children, is asking Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo to put basketball hoops back up at the city playgrounds and schools. "When you go to our city parks and there is no hoops to use, it's not good for the children," said Bentley. "They need a release from mental stress of not being able to go to school or socialize with other kids and with the beautiful weather, they need the hoops back up."

Bentley turned to Facebook to ask Mayor Izzo to let the kids return to the courts and many parents agreed.

The hoops were boarded up when the coronavirus hit, not just in Rome, but all across central New York. When kids started removing the boards, officials removed the hoops all together.

Putting the basketball hoops back up is something Mayor Izzo and her staff are working on but several factors need to be considered first. “Although high risk indoor sports were reopened by the Governor with very strict rules in place, we are working on compliance issues with high risk outdoor sports, in particular basketball."

The Sports and Recreation Master Guidance stipulates participants in higher risk sports and recreation activities may partake in individual or distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training and other types of play, including competitions and tournaments, only as permitted by the respective local health authorities.

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The local health authorities are being asked to consider the following factors before authorizing or continuing to prohibit higher risk sports and recreational activities:

  • Whether there has been a more-transmissible variant of COVID-19 identified in the area
  • Local rates of COVID-19 transmission or rate of positivity and local ability to monitor and enforce compliance
  • "We are collaborating with the Oneida County Health Department and our colleagues in the City of Utica to enact a consistent policy regarding outdoor basketball," said Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo. "We are working through the guidance requirements and will announce our plan to reopen the outdoor courts in the very near future.”

    Despite everyone itching to get out of the house after quarantining for so long due to COVID-19, it looks like it'll be a little longer before kids can return to the courts.

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