WOBURN – The Bay State Games announce that after the cancellation of all 2020 Summer Games events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans are well underway to hold over two dozen sports at the 39th annual Games this Summer.
“The last live Bay State Games event was held on March 1, 2020,” said Bay State Games Executive Director, Kevin Cummings. “For the past several months we have been monitoring state protocols and working with our venue partners with hope that we could host events this summer. The recent updates by the EEA regarding youth and adult amateur sport activities will allow us to proceed with many of our events. We are excited to be able to provide opportunities for athletes who have waited, in some cases for over a year, to participate in the sports they love.
While many events will proceed, the athlete experience and format may be different in 2021 as policies will be implemented to ensure the safety of all athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators. “We are working with event organizers, sport governing bodies, individual venues, local boards of health, and the Bay State Games medical team to develop safety protocols for each event,” said Cummings. Protocols for each sport will be available on the Bay State Games website.
The first live event to return will be Figure Skating on June 12 at the Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink in Boxborough. Normally held in the Winter Games in the Berkshires, this event was postponed due to COVID-19. Over 340 skaters will participate under strict mask and social distancing guidelines. Showcase sport tryouts in baseball, basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and volleyball will take place at statewide venues throughout the month of June with competitions held in July. After the cancellation of the 2020 Summer Games, Bay State Games has also adjusted the eligibility requirements to allow graduating seniors to compete in the showcase sports. In order to be eligible, the senior must have either already competed in Bay State Games in the past or have been registered for the 2020 Summer Games prior to its cancellation. All showcase sports, except baseball, may qualify for the team using this eligibility requirement.
Many individual sports are also confirmed with events in archery, pickleball, shooting sports, weightlifting, and others.
Plans are currently underway to confirm venues for additional sports including swimming, track & field, badminton, footgolf, fencing, and others. Discussions continue regarding high-risk sports, such as rugby, wrestling, and judo. A decision on these events should be made shortly.
The Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 1982 to host the first approved state games of the commonwealth. It operates with the mission of promoting personal development, education, physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship to Massachusetts citizens of all ages and abilities. The Foundation is recognized for hosting high quality, Olympic-style events through the Bay State Summer and Winter Games, as well as educational programs including the Future Leaders Scholarship Program, a Sportsmanship Initiative and the High School Ambassador Program.