MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott talked about a calculated approach on indoor sports during his twice-weekly press conference on Tuesday.

On Monday, the state came out with guidelines to tighten policy around youth and recreational sports leagues. The updated guidelines centered around travel policy, spectator policy and social gatherings.

According to the guidance, the changes apply to all Vermont-based teams, clubs, organizations and leagues not directly affiliated with a school.

NCAA-governed intercollegiate sports and school-based sports sanctioned by the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) will continue to follow procedures and processes laid out in the higher education guidance and from the school restart guidance developed by the Agency of Education.

“These policy changes are being implemented to reduce the risk of further spread of COVID-19. While it may be challenging for some leagues, it is an added layer of protection that means we can continue to operate recreational sports programs here in Vermont, while other states have suspended them,” said Governor Phil Scott, in Monday’s press release.

“Put more directly, we don’t want to be where our neighbors are right now. Our goal is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 while preserving as many opportunities as possible for Vermonters to participate in recreational sports.”

According to the guidance, Vermont-based sports teams may only participate in sporting events in Vermont, and these events may only occur among Vermont-based teams.

Individuals from bordering states who belong to a Vermont-based team, club, organization or league or routinely utilize a training facility in Vermont may participate if they reside in counties eligible for quarantine-free travel to Vermont (they reside in a “green county”) based on the cross-state travel map.

For indoor youth recreational sports practices, scrimmages or games, the number of spectators must now be limited to a maximum of one per participating family.

The total number of people present at an event cannot exceed current limits on event size – currently 50{066dbc63777e5ed549f406789d72fdeebd77a32711d57f7b38ff2b35c4ba2a42} of fire safety capacity or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people for indoor events. No spectators can attend adult sporting events, including games.

Contact tracing of positive cases suggests that pre-and post-event social activities, as well as travel to and from games, are leading to extended close contact which increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission between participants.

To reduce transmission, the updated guidance strongly discourages team-based social gatherings until all other COVID-19-specific restrictions regulating sports leagues are fully lifted.

“It’s always been about the ‘how’,” Scott said, during his Tuesday press conference. “What we’re seeing now and what we experienced with the outbreak at the central Vermont facility I believe was everything around the hockey. It wasn’t on the ice, it was off the ice. We’re going to be more aware of what we’re doing.

“We’ll be looking at the ‘how’ as we move forward to the winter season to determine if we need to put further restrictions in place. I want to be strategic about it.”

The state has yet to release guidance for the high school winter sports season.