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Nov, 2020

AYB COVID-19 Update - Nov 2020

Dear AYB Community,

The AYB board would like to give you the latest information regarding a potential 2021 AYB season. We have received an update that the EEA plans to allow higher risk sports like basketball to be played with proper modifications. We do not know what those modifications will be yet, but we are very certain that a mask must be worn at all times will be a minimum requirement (during practices and games).

MetroWest has communicated that they plan to have a shortened travel season which will begin in Jan. They have offered to help towns with obtaining gyms as well. Currently Ashland is not allowing any gym rentals until the new year. We continue to inquire as this is the lynch pin in determining the viability for Ashland to host games, hold practices and effectively have both a modified intown and travel season.

We would also like to thank you for your participation in our survey. The survey provided a lot of insight as to what risk our families would be willing to take during these uncertain times. The survey results are clear that most families would prefer an all Ashland “bubble” for both in- town and travel. Again, this is all hinged on our ability to book gyms.

Next steps: The MIAA will be meeting over the next 2wks to determine what the guidelines for basketball will be. We also expect the governor’s office to also weigh in. Once we hear from those agencies along with what a MetroWest season would look like we will publish another communication with possible sign up information.

Below are some FAQ’s to try to also answer specific questions.

Q: If we have a season how will AYB determine teams? Will there be tryouts?
A: Because we don’t have gyms, we will not be able to hold tryouts. We will inquire who would like to play and create teams based on last season and coaches’ evaluations.

Q: If we can’t book Ashland gyms can we still participate in the MetroWest season?
A: If we have coaches and teams that would like to still participate in the MetroWest season we will not stop them. AYB will help to try to locate gyms but an additional fee will need to be paid per team.

Q: Is there any option to hold a weekly skills clinic within Ashland or gyms from another town?
A: We might be able to reserve gyms outside of Ashland, but this will depend on interest and also coaches to help hold the clinics. This is a good possibility to keep your kid playing this winter.

Q: I hear AAU is offering a winter season?
A: This is true. AYB doesn’t sponsor or advertise for a specific AAU organization but you most certainly can choose to play. Please note that AAU practices with mask in state but plays all games out of state in NH without masks.

Q: Can I just sign my child up with friends to play in leagues outside of Ashland like Forekicks or the YMCA?
A: You certainly can and that is your choice however we would like to know which kids are doing this so if we create our “bubble” we are doing our best to keep all our kids safe.

Q: Will registration costs be the same with a shortened season?
A: We don’t know yet. We will need to look at the numbers and interest in travel, in-town vs just clinics to make that determination.

Q: What are other towns around us doing?
A: It’s a mix. At this time, we can tell you Hopkinton is creating a bubble program as they have a gym that is not being used. Franklin is operating and prepping as normal for a travel season as they have gyms and have conducted tryouts. Natick and Wellesley are like us and have no access to gyms and are in a holding pattern as well.
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