One of the aggravating parts of the New York on Pause is trying to understand what is and isn't allowed involving recreational activities. New York is shedding some light on the subject with “Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Sports and Recreation.” And with a name like that, it's sure to be clear as mud.

Here's what we know now, the state has separated activities into three categories, low-risk, moderate-risk, and high-risk.  Activities performed by individuals or where physical distance is easy to maintain and there is little or no shared equipment are low risk.  When the same criteria can only be met on limited basis it's a moderate risk, and when the criteria is difficult to maintain it's a high risk. In a nut shell, the more people involved in participating and the more shared equipment the greater the risk.

Here are the samples give by the state:

LOW RISK

  • individual running,
    batting cages,
    hunting/shooting/archery,
    golf,
    mini-golf,
    non-motorized boating, such as row boats, kayaks, canoes,
    singles tennis,
    rock climbing,
    individual swimming,
    individual crew,
    cross country running,
    toss/bowl games, such as horseshoes, bocce, bean bag toss,
    flying disc games, such as disc golf, frisbee,
    rope courses, and other sports and recreation activities with similar abilities to maintain physical
    distance and/or limit exposure to shared equipment prior to such equipment being
    cleaned and disinfected.

MODERATE RISK

  • baseball,
    softball,
    doubles tennis,
    racket games, such as badminton, racquetball,
    water polo,
    gymnastics,
    field hockey,
    non-contact lacrosse,
    swimming relays,
    soccer,
    crew with two or more rowers in shell, rafting, paintball, and other sports and recreation activities with similar abilities to maintain physical distance and/or limit exposure to shared equipment prior to such equipment being cleaned and disinfected.

HIGH RISK

  • football,
    wrestling,
    ice hockey,
    rugby,
    basketball,
    contact lacrosse,
    volleyball,
    competitive cheer & group dance, and other sports and recreation activities with similar Abilities to maintain physical distance and/or limit exposure to shared equipment prior to such equipment being cleaned and disinfected.

New York has detailed 14 pages of activities and how to address them. For instance while gyms are still not allowed to open, they can conduct yoga classes outdoors with a limit of 25 people. if they can socially distance the required 6 feet, don't share mats, and there's no touching.  Golf courses can play up to four in a group as long as participants who don't live in the same house ride in separate carts or walk.

When it comes to team activities, group workouts can be scheduled when proper distancing can be maintained, but no team meetings indoors. The document does spell out specifics in greater detail from canoe and kayak rentals to hunting and fishing, and youth sports. Read more on the do's and don'ts for each specific activity at the New York Health Department's website.

The rules apply beginning July 6 in all state regions currently in Phase 3 of Reopening. Of course more activities will become available with less restrictions in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York regions if Phase 4 is achieved.