TAMPA, FL – As the Tampa Bay community continues to adapt to the current COVID-19 climate, the youth and amateur sports world looks to get back on track with a safe and effective return-to-play plan.
Enter the fifth Annual Tampa Summer Jam, hosted by Northwest Tampa Lacrosse. In total, 62 teams from across the region, face coverings in-hand, descended upon the 15-field Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex for a July weekend of youth lacrosse action.
The event rosters featured both boys’ and girls’ clubs ranging from 10 years old to high school-age athletes competing in a bracket-style tournament.
However, before teams could face-off, both the Sportsplex and Joseph Kuebrich’s K4 Lacrosse promotion had to develop and execute an extensive set of safety guidelines for their respective associations.
On the venue front, Sportsplex operators, led by the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) and Hillsborough County, united to develop an intricate set of guidelines aimed at the well-being of all participants and guests.
The established procedures were noticeable as visitors were greeted with clear signage, dedicated sanitizing stations on the mask-enforced main concourse, single-way entrance and exits, social distancing rules, and even supplying temporary face coverings to guests without masks.
Additionally, the Sportsplex has also developed a series of employee/client/vendor/guest entry processes, which includes initial and secondary temperature checks, while employees are equipped with the designated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The Sportsplex also performed enhanced surface cleaning/disinfectant procedures, while debuting new touchless equipment and a new and a new 360 degree sanitizing machine.
With teams arriving from Orlando, Palm Beach and other spots in Florida, the lacrosse contingent relied on consistent and informative messaging from league operators and coaches to help execute the Sportsplex guidelines and provide all guests with the comfort needed to attend.
“Parents and spectators appreciated the efforts of the venue staff trying to keep everyone safe while on-site,” said Joseph Kuebrich of K4 Lacrosse.
“The Tampa Sports Authority and Tournament Sportsplex were very well prepared and a great resource from start to finish with the policies and procedures put in place for the tournament. The Sportsplex staff helped implement their policies around the parking lots and concessions building, had extra masks on-site for parents as needed, and in general, were great partners throughout the hosting experience for our team.”
By the time tournament champions were crowned on Sunday, it was evident the combination of venue guidelines, steady communication and compliant participants and guests allowed for the successful return to youth sports action and supplied the blueprint in the Tampa Bay area for future events.
Over the past month, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission has also been involved with hosting a series of events including the 2020 Florida State United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Open Tournament, a six-week men’s and women’s bowling tournament that was held in Tampa for the first time in 30 years, at Pin Chasers Midtown and Pin Chasers Pasco.
Additionally, the 2020 TORHS Roller Hockey National Tournament took place at the AdventHealth Center Ice venue in Pasco County from July 2-11 and featured 113 roller hockey teams competing from across the United States. Finally, the inaugural TNS Tampa United Kickball Classic took place at the Tournament Sportsplex. This adult kickball tournament attracted roughly 40 total teams, many of which traveled from out of town.
For more information surrounding the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, follow @sportstampabay on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as tampabaysports.org.