Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

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Update 6/25/2020 – Special Olympics Massachusetts state office will remain closed to the public, except for scheduled meetings for business purposes. Select staff will be returning to the office on July 6th, while many staff members will continue to work from home. Please contact staff by email and understand there may be some delay in response.

Below you will find current Return to Play guidelines as of 6/25/2020. This is not a full return to pre-pandemic practice and competition. These guidelines outline the kinds of programs and activities available and permissible under Phase 2 of Massachusetts state guidelines, and Special Olympics International guidelines.

Return to Play Guidelines

Special Olympics Massachusetts will be entering phase 2 of returning to play on July 6th. Teams are allowed to practice in groups of no larger than 10 individuals, along with other requirements that can be found in the Phase 2 Safety Guidelines Document. The Code of Conduct and Risk Assessment Form is a document that should be reviewed and signed by all participants at or prior to practice.

Participants can also participate in several modified activities (across multiple sports) that fit under the proper safety guidelines. Participants will be able to compete in these activities to earn points with the goal of winning prizes. These will be offered between July 6th and the end of November. The full plan can be found on the SOMA July to November Outline.

Family and Coach Calls

SOMA will be hosting several coaches and family (for parents, caregivers and guardians) Zoom calls with President and CEO, Mary Beth McMahon. The purpose of these calls is to communicate our plans for entering phase 2 and beyond, which include educating everyone on the safety guidelines being put in place and the activity outline for the next six months. The dates and registration links can be found on the Family Zoom and Coaches Zoom pages. If anyone is unable to attend, these are the Presentation Slides that can be viewed.

Frequent Asked Questions (coming soon)

There will be a Frequently Asked Questions page (coming soon) that can be reviewed for any questions you may have. You can contact the Operations Department at Ops@SpecialOlympicsMA.org for any additional questions or comments you have.

Letter from Mary Beth McMahon – March 2020

Dear Special Olympics Massachusetts Friends & Family,

We wanted to share an update on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be affecting our organization over the next few months. Because this is a new challenge for us all, we have developed a plan through the Spring Sports Season. 

In light of the new recommendations shared by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that large public gatherings be cancelled or postponed, Special Olympics Massachusetts will take the following actions: 

    • Cancelling or postponing all Special Olympics Massachusetts events and trainings through May 9, 2020. This cancellation includes, but is not limited to competitions, fundraising events, practices, fitness programming, and coach or volunteer trainings.
    • Due to the extension of the timeframe for canceled events and training, the planning that is required for events, the uncertainty from our venue partners, and the qualification process for advancement to additional levels of competition between May 10 and June 14, we will cancel all Special Olympics Massachusetts-hosted events in that time, including qualifying tournaments, fundraisers, Hall of Fame, and Summer Games. 
  • The Special Olympics Massachusetts offices are closed until June 1st, including our conference rooms, gym and fitness center.  Our staff  is continuing to work remotely. As such, please understand there may be a delay in response time to calls and emails.  While many will have access to their phone lines, email is the best way to reach our staff. This is a period of rapid change for us all, so there are a number of things to manage, but we will work as quickly as possible to answer questions and reply to communication. 
  • With regards to our school partnerships, the school superintendents and the school districts will take the lead. Our schools programs are part of the inclusive school community. If and when school districts make the decision to open and resume interscholastic sports and other school initiatives, our schools programs will follow suit.

These measures will no doubt cause incredible disappointment for our athletes, coaches, and volunteers, however, in light of the current circumstances, we must continue to make everyone’s health and safety our number one priority. 

In the meantime, we understand that the isolation that comes from social distancing can be incredibly stressful – when we are feeling stress, we tend to lean on our friends, family and, at Special Olympics, our teammates. 

Because we know that missing out on practices, games, and other social opportunities will only make these coming weeks more difficult, Special Olympics Massachusetts is committed to providing alternative, remote programming. Over the next few days and weeks, we will roll out a number of opportunities to participate in fitness and wellness trainings from home. We are also looking into opportunities to bring groups of athletes, coaches and partners together to socialize and stay well together, digitally. 

Although we are entering uncharted territory, we know that our community of over 14,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers and countless fans, is here to support each other – even if that is from the comfort of their own homes. Together we are an incredibly resilient group of people who can get through anything and come out on the other side even stronger. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact update@specialolympicsma.org 

Thank you for your time and dedication to the Special Olympics Movement,

Mary Beth McMahon

President & CEO

Special Olympics Massachusetts

4 responses to “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update”

  1. Matthew McCarthy says:

    I was really looking forward to spring sports!!! I’ve been training real hard for long distance racing this year!!! Please keep me informed when May Games and Summer Games get closer…

  2. Andrew Broughton says:

    I hope the Summer Games are happening in August.

  3. Derek Sooley says:

    Does this mean that I can not play softball