What Does a Yellow Designation Mean for Sports

Maine’s county based color coding system has left some confused regarding what the yellow classification would mean for high school sports.


Debbie Ackerson

Nate Willett ‘20, deflects a pass during a home contest against Waterville in early 2020.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

With the upcoming biweekly update of the state of Maine’s color coded designations for each of its 16 counties, and the anticipation that increasing COVID-19 case numbers will bring Aroostook county down into the Yellow, there has been significant chatter discussing what that will mean for sports here at the high school.

That answer is rather straightforward: as long as the County remains below green in designation, all Interscholastic Athletics will be on pause. If that label only lasts until the next coding release, then sports will be able to resume in the waning days of January. If the County remains yellow after that, they may start back up in mid February, and so on and so forth.

Come Friday, if such a designation is handed out, that does not mean that all contact between players and coaches should stop, as is emphasized by Presque Isle Athletic Director Mark White in an email sent to all PIHS coaches on the subject. “If we do have to halt Interscholastic athletics for two weeks, it is vital that coaches check in with their student-athletes during this time,” said White. “There are growing concerns throughout the state of the negative psychological impact the interruption of Interscholastic Athletics is having on high school student-athletes. The recent tragedy involving the suicide of a student-athlete from Brunswick High School illustrates this. It is my expectation that coaches have consistent and regular contact with team members during a hiatus.”

Online team gatherings, he continued, may take place on various platforms, provided they do not occur during the school day. “Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, or Zoom are all options for maintaining contact with student-athletes. These meetings should be after school hours so not to interfere with online learning.”

If Aroostook Countyis not classified as yellow, then all athletic activities will continue as scheduled.