Amateur Sports Groups Are Watching The Flu Hype Warily

High schools in Texas aren't the only places where competitions are being canceled or delayed because of swine-flu fears. (Although the UIL has reversed itself a bit; regional track meets are back on.)

All basketball games and practices in the South Texas AAU, which includes the Houston area, are off until May 15, director Daryl Richardson tells Hair Balls. But it's apparently not written in stone:  "If the kids go back to school, we go back and everything is normal," he says.

Youth soccer is huge this time of year, with lots of tournaments scheduled. Officials with the South Texas Youth Soccer Association wouldn't return our calls, but the group issued a press release saying players affected by the closure of a school due to the flu are ineligible to participate in any of its activities.

Things haven't gotten to that point with the YMCA of Greater Houston, which oversees tons of kids soccer and baseball games. Spokeswoman Trazanna Moreno tells Hair Balls, "It seems like we're going to continue our programs as normal."

Moreno said, "So far, no schools have been closed where we have YMCA youth programs."  However, she said, "If a school is closed we obviously can't provide programs at that school."

At present, children from closed schools are eligible to play, as long as they're not sick.  But Moreno said, "The situation could change daily."

So she was advised by the health department to monitor the kids for illness and make sure the organization continued to implement good hand-sanitation practices. She said no matter if there was swine flu or not, if a kid were sick they would take precautions anyway.

"We're trying to be proactive," she said.

Something I've been hearing a lot today.  But when will things be normal again?  A couple of weeks, a month, the end of summer, no one can be sure.  Until then, Moreno said, "We're not making any decisions without the guidance of the health department."

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