Return to sports
9/23/2020 -- This morning, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health announced that moderate contact sports can begin competitions in St. Louis County. Therefore, we will begin competitions on September 28 for moderate contact sports - softball, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, cheer and dance.
We agree youth sports are critical for the physical and mental health of our students. Football is quickly approaching the midpoint of the season. Therefore, to ensure our student-athletes will have opportunities to play and compete this year, Parkway will begin scheduling football games to be played outside of St. Louis County. The first Friday night football games will be scheduled for October 2.
High school activities directors and coaches will provide more information and also notify students and parents as soon as schedules are finalized.
The health and safety of our students and staff will remain our top priority. Parkway will continue to follow health and safety protocols for youth sports which include daily health screenings, mask-wearing and social distancing.
Why was the decision made to allow high school football teams to compete?
We believe youth sports are critical for the physical and mental health of our students. The current St. Louis County recommendation includes competition for low and moderate contact sports. Competition for football was not recommended in the county at this time but we expect that recommendation to change soon.
Football is quickly approaching the midpoint of the season. Therefore, to ensure our student-athletes will have opportunities to play and compete this year, Parkway and many other districts in the region, including Rockwood and Lindbergh, began scheduling some games outside the county.
As we made this decision, we spoke with both the St. Louis County Executive’s office and the Health Department. They expressed respect and understanding of our decision on behalf of our students. We continue to enjoy a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship with St. Louis County leaders. We helped organize the youth sports consultation team the County is using moving forward which includes Parkway athletic directors. Our return to school plans were also included as part of the county recommendations for all schools last week after our consultation with them.
The safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority. Parkway will continue to follow health and safety protocols for youth sports which include daily health screenings, mask-wearing and social distancing. We are working closely with athletic directors from other teams and the facilities we are using for games to ensure our health precautions are consistent for students and their interactions are safe including where they play and which teams they play. This includes limitations on spectators for both teams, mask-wearing by students and fans, no use of locker rooms and separate entrances for teams and fans.
Learn more about fans and health precautions below.
Why can high school play sports but Parkway is not bringing high school students back to school in-person?
One of the primary mitigation factors that helps prevent and isolate the spread of illness is the number of people gathering in the same space. Health precautions also recommend activities be held outdoors whenever possible where there is more circulation of air.
When we evaluate a return to school, there are unique issues in a high school building that remain a concern. Our high schools would have between 1,000 -1,400 students on average attending school in one indoor space, with students frequently moving between classes and mixing groups. When we look at youth sports and other activities for high school, students are gathering in much smaller groups and most often using outdoor spaces and fields.