Across North Texas, gyms are starting to open up at 25% capacity, clearing the way for youth sports to resume.
Among those resuming is volleyball and at “Skyline Juniors Volleyball” in Plano, practice looks much different than just a few months ago.
“Our front staff person takes temperatures whenever someone walks in, we have marks on the floor to make sure people stay six feet apart,” Executive Director Jodie Rye said.
Rye and her husband Jon, who co-founded the program, have set up a detailed list of procedures aimed at keeping players and coaches safe. Distancing, temperature checks and the regular disinfecting of volleyballs using UV light are among the most visible.
“We have a contraption to keep the volleyball’s up in the air, rolling around and getting all sides,” Jon Rye said.
Parents for now, have to wait outside and the number of people in the gym, which had a previous capacity close to 300, is now limited to less than 30.
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“It’s a challenge, waiting in the car for an hour and fifteen, twenty minutes,” Parent Mark Goodlett said with a smile.
Goodlett said he supports the extra steps being taken and feels like his daughter Elizabeth is safe to return to practice.
“We started last week out at the sand courts and everything went well there so we were good with it,” Goodlett said.
Among the most ambitious safety procedures the Rye’s have put in place is a system for contact tracing that will allow them to contact anyone in the program if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Anybody that’s been in our facility whether it’s a coach or player we know who it is,” Jon Rye said.
All of it they hope will one day go away when things return to normal but for now safety and returning to the court remains the priority.
“It’s just nice to be back in the gym and no matter what that these kids feel safe and are able to do something they love and miss,” Jodie Rye said.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.