While D.C. has begun the process of slowly and cautiously reopening, there’s little doubt that most are itching to get back to some of their favorite pre-quarantine summer activities. While you can still be active alone or by yourself, social and team sports were always going to be one of the last items to return to “normalcy.” But as phases begin to allow for larger groups, DC Fray is most excited to connect to its community after a long hiatus.
“We’re excited to be back out there and see our players and create that community again,” says Brittany Rheault, DC Fray’s Senior Director of Sports on the return of the sports leagues. “We’ve been keeping it as steady as possible with our virtual leagues and trying to offer as much as we can to stay engaged with the community, but being able to see everybody is huge for us.”
Activities such as sports have been slow to return as close contact with people outside of your household during a pandemic is not advised. As the city moves into the next phases of reopening, though, Mayor Bowser has permitted gatherings of up to 50 people and many parks and recreational fields have reopened. After these long months of social distancing, you can safely kick around with friends and teammates once again. While DC Fray is happy to welcome Washingtonians back to their sports leagues, they are practicing the utmost precaution.
“Our staff will be required to wear masks, and we will be highly encouraging players to wear them,” Rheault says of safety regulations in place. “Nobody should be coming to view, it should be just the players. No high fives, just elbow taps, all that kind of stuff. We’ll have disinfectant for all of the equipment.”
Of course, there is only so much the Fray team can regulate when it comes to practicing in open areas. The Fray team will try to manage what its own players do, but have no control of the public sharing the space with them.
“We’ll try to provide the best safe space that we can, but it’s tricky with it being outdoors,” Rheault says. “Say [we play] on the National Mall, there’s so many ways for people to come in and out, it’s hard to funnel that.”
DC Fray hopes that its adherence to the CDC and D.C.’s guidelines can make players feel safe enough to return to the teams they love, but understand that not everyone will be comfortable with returning to in-person sports leagues at this time. The team is committed to keep its virtual programming available as well for any and all who wish to remain socially distanced but still want to have fun.
“We want to still have that offering of outdoor [recreation], but we also want to protect our players as much as we can. We would love people to come out and play and reengage with their friends and the community, [but] at the same time we respect that there are a lot of things that are still uncertain and that there are a lot of people who aren’t ready to come back.” Rheault acknowledges. “Whether people choose to keep going the online route or play outside, as long as people are still staying engaged with us and staying involved, we’re excited to see participants in all facets of Fray.”
The summer sports leagues include bocce, corn hole, tennis, volleyball, flag football, soccer, kickball and ultimate frisbee. Anyone at any skill level can register to join the fun-loving leagues. Bring a friend, or register on your own and meet new people with similar interests. Early summer registration ends on June 23, with play beginning June 28. Late summer registration ends July 21, with play beginning July 26. Register online at www.dcfray.com, and follow DC Fray on social media @dcfray for updates.
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