BILLINGS - All athletes and spectators participating in indoor sports at next week's Big Sky State Games will be required to wear masks, the organization announced on Thursday due to the recent increase in Montana's number of COVID-19 cases.
Spectators at outdoor venues will also be required to wear masks. In addition, the BSSG are asking teams to limit their number of spectators this year.
“We are thankful we can put the events on in safe manner and keep Montanans active during this uncertain time but we will need the participants and spectators cooperation in wearing their mask,” said Executive Director Liana Susott.
Most Big Sky State Games events will continue with modifications. Indoor events such as armwrestling, pickleball, cornhole, basketball and volleyball have all been moved to outdoor venues. Volleyball will be played four-on-four on the grass, while basketball has been moved to August as part of the Above the Rim, Big Sky Ballin’ 3 on 3 tournament.
"The Big Sky State Games have been constantly monitoring the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our local community," the group said in a release. "The health and safety of the athletes, as well as their friends, and family members remains the top priority. The Big Sky State Games have followed the Governor’s Directive for Phase 2 of the reopening of Montana, the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with continuing consultation with the Yellowstone County Health Department when planning for over 30 sports of the Big Sky State Games."
Postponed Big Sky State Games include judo, biathlon, handball, racquetball, table tennis and the swimming competition in Helena.
General guidelines: 2020 Big Sky State Games
1. Do not compete or spectate if you are sick; stay home and out of public places.
2. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after competing and/or spectating at an event.
3. Maintain 6’ physical distancing while spectating.
4. Some events, by their nature, do not allow physical distancing; understand the inherent risks of entering this event.
5. Indoor Events: Wear a cloth mask as an athlete and spectator (Billiards, Bowling, Speed Climbing, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Indoor Shooting events)
6. Outdoor Events: Spectators wear a cloth mask.
7. Bring your own water, snacks and shade