Updated: Dec 10, 2020
With the coronairus pandemic, Larimer County issued a no travel ban on Oct 23 to Oct 30, forcing many businesses to limit social activity. Michael Peterson, owner and founder of Power2Play, decided to take advantage of a loophole, to give kids a sense of normalcy.
Power2Play is a sporting event center that is the host to numerous basketball and volleyball teams. The players can be any age, from a child to an adult.
With the coronavirus cases increasing to higher numbers again, Larimer County put down the ban and insisted that any team outside of the Larimer County line, is unable to play inside the county. So, Peterson booked gyms at different schools outside of county lines, just so the kids can play the game they love.
Teams came from all over outside of Larimer County, such as Nebraska and Wyoming. Peterson made sure those teams were still able to play against teams from Larimer County.
“It was frustrating to us. They were banning teams from coming into Larimer County, but there was no mandate on any teams traveling outside of the county line,” Peterson said. “We decided to go to Weld County to host our games because they didn’t have any limits set for us. I wasn’t going to stop running games. To me, it didn’t matter if kids were playing here, in Weld County or Chicago for that matter.”
Peterson mentioned that Larimer County recognized Power2Play for holding such safe guidelines in their facilities, making them never go against their violation before. So, with that, Peterson was confused as to why the ban was placed down. With the circumstances, Peterson wanted as much normalcy in the program as possible.
“I believe playing basketball outside of Larimer County does have a sense of normalcy to it. In Larimer County being allowed two spectators per child is acceptable,” said Colby Best Walter, assistant coach for Noco Basketball team in the fifth grade division. “Though as far as the ‘normalcy’ factor goes, these kids aren’t accustomed to just that. Multiple kids on our squad have brothers, sisters, and sets of grandparents that haven’t missed a game since Pre-K. I think being in a larger gymnasium that allows you to spread out to allow more spectators to bring the normalcy back to our kids,”
Power2Play decided to hold games outside of the county lines, in hopes that it would allow fans, teams, and officials to see that their policies were still intact no matter the location of the game.
“Back in March, we went so far and above and beyond of what they were asking us to do, we were never in violation or have had the county come to us and indicate that there was anything we needed to improve. Our policies were safe and unique,” Peterson said.
The managing team for Power2Play decided to make their safety protocols different from other businesses, hoping it would ensure more safety for the players and fans. They made their own tracing system online that people would need to fill out before walking into the building. The fans would need to fill out a COVID symptom tracker, with basic name information included.
“It is a really cool system, when people line up, we know every single person who walks into the building, and then we mandate the social distancing and mask wearing too. Even the players are set to wear masks as well,” Peterson said.
On top of new safety protocols, Power2Play made the rule that every player gets only two fans allowed in with them at a time. The fans must be an adult to help mandate safety within the building.
“Coaching in a pandemic has challenged everyone from players, coaches, parents and extended family. The players are forced to wear masks during games, and it remains a struggle to enforce,” said Derrick Best, head coach for Noco Basketball team. “The saddest part is that extended family members cannot attend the indoor events. Although, we all feel truly blessed that are kids are still able to play. We take our hats off to the staff of P2P for making this happen.”
Samantha DeMers (Author/Photographer)