The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday December 7th

Carrboro lifts mask mandate for indoor and outdoor adult sports leagues

Carrboro's drop-in volleyball program. Photo courtesy of Scott Scala.
Buy Photos Carrboro's drop-in volleyball program. Photo courtesy of Scott Scala.

After two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, all indoor and outdoor adult sports leagues operated through Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources will no longer require masks.

The mandate was lifted on April 4 after  Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools dropped its mask requirement. All indoor and outdoor facilities are now fully operational. 

“We are following the school system guidelines,” said Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Recreation Administrator Charles Harrington. “We have to be respectful to their policies and procedures.” 

The changes also apply to adult volleyball drop-in sessions, which were shut down in March 2020 shortly after the pandemic began. Open play sessions resumed in late March of this year and are set to continue through May 12.

Although the mandate has ended, Ryan Reed, recreation supervisor at the Carrboro Department of Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources, said attendees are still asked to use their best judgment during play. 

“The players won't have to wear masks indoors anymore, but they're still asking everyone to use their best judgment,” he said.

'Healthy for a community'

Reed said drop-in play events have seen lower attendance rates since they reopened in March. For at least half of the open-play volleyball session on March 31, no one was in attendance.

But adults are finding ways to stay active in the community, despite the drop in attendance. The adult Ultimate Frisbee league has held three seasons since reopening in the spring of 2021, Reed said. 

But since reopening, attendance among the league has remained constant with 70 players.

Ultimate Frisbee league player Becki Cleveland said one possible reason attendance is lower is because people still have COVID-19 concerns.

“Some people are still a little wary of the situation for obvious reasons, so we haven't really gotten our full membership back,” she said. 

However, Reed said the league has reported zero COVID-19 cases since reopening. 

Mandy Davis, who serves as team captain of the Ultimate Frisbee league, said most of the team members have received their vaccinations, and unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear masks during practice. 

She said losing the team during the pandemic had a negative social effect on players. 

“We really missed it," she said. "It isolated and fragmented players.”

Cleveland said the local leagues provide an option for those who want to join a team, but do not have the time to commute to farther options, and can be especially beneficial for those with children. 

“They can’t just take off and spend 45 minutes driving each way to play a two hour game and then come back," she said. "That is just burdensome.”

It allows community members to become more involved in Carrboro athletics. 

Reed noted that adult sports leagues can also help foster relationships between members of the community, especially for new residents of Carrboro. 

“It’s good to get out, get exercise — it creates a lot of camaraderie,” he said. 

@ZoeWerner356 

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 

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