May 19, 2020 – As announced in a brief Facebook post last week, the Stonewall Alliance is taking the time during the current “yellow” phase of re-open Pennsylvania to develop plans outlining what our own return-to-play could look like. The board’s primary focus is currently on options for bowling, sand volleyball, kickball and bocce.
As they stand right now, state guidelines around the next phase (green) are incredibly vague, and may impact each of our programs differently. Each program involves cooperation from different city departments and facility managers.
For instance, sand volleyball, kickball and bocce occur in city-owned parks. Therefore, we have requested and are awaiting local planning guidance from the City of Pittsburgh as we rely on cooperation from both the Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Public Works for occupancy and sanitation.
On May 18, the city responded to our request for planning guidance saying it will also not be tied to one opening date (for any fields, courts, park shelters, etc.) in yellow vs. green. Therefore, Stonewall leadership simply must wait for final guidance from all parties.
Additionally, Pennsylvania moving to the green phase does not necessarily guarantee the league can operate as “normal.” Once we are able to return to play, we will still be following all pertinent CDC, Pennsylvania health department and city guidelines, which likely means league play may look quite different.
Each commissioner is developing a health and safety outline for their sport which will be published along with league rules before registration opens. The outlines will detail potential modified rules, extra cleaning procedures and other precautions the league is taking to create a safer environment.
Once we receive approval from all necessary partners and have a plan in place, it’s important to remember that the decision to play is ultimately in the hands of the individual player. We will ensure that all precautions are thoughtful and reliably executed, but we encourage each player to evaluate their own comfort level before deciding to participate.
We will continue to make the best decisions we can with the information we have. Please know the community’s safety and wellbeing will continue to be our top priority.
Stonewall Alliance Leadership