Description of the video:
Gerry: well we aren’t far from hearing “play ball!” at least for youth sports in Indiana. State guidelines now allow practices, and games and tournaments are just two weeks away for hoosier kids. But game time will look different. Business of health reporter Kylie Veleta tells us about a new study that’s shedding light on what changes people care about the most.
Kylie: Thanks Gerry. Grand Park in Westfield, one of the largest youth sports complexes in the country, and the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute are partnering on a nationwide survey that asked parents, coaches, players and administrators what changes need to be made at facilities for them to feel safe. Should grandparents be allowed to come in? Should teams sit in dugouts? Would you answer a health screen to enter the park? The results are in from more than 10,000 respondents. Here to tell us more are William Knox, the director of Grand Park, and Dr. David Pierce, the director of the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute, thank you both for being here today.
William: Thanks for having us.
Dr. Pierce: Thanks
Kylie: William, I would like to start with you. This survey focused on 12 modifications that facilities are considering as youth sports start to ramp back up. Can you give us an idea of what people were asked and why their answers are so important?
William: We were very fortunate to work with Dr. Pierce and the Sports Innovation Institute to conduct This research and what we found. We looked at reopening plans for many facilities and events throughout the country and there were a lot of questions being asked to parents as to what would make them feel safe when they return to sports. So we looked at the 12 that were compiled about those reopening plans and we asked our own questions, like what would make you feel safe once you return to our facility or once you return to playing in events at different venues. Were they looking for questions related to event staff wearing masks and or dugouts being available and we went to the point to even ask questions about responding to a questionnaire or subject yourself to temperature checks when you return to the games.
Kylie: Okay, David I understand you are still going through the results with a fine-tooth comb. Can you give us a sort of a high-level picture or first impression of what respondents are saying, which interestingly 91% of the respondents were parents. So tell us what you were seeing in these early results.
Dr. Pierce: Yeah so some of the big ones that are fundamentally important and really classify things as the more of this that people see the better they feel that would be visible would be the increase in sanitization factors. This includes lobbies, common areas. and high-touch areas. On the event operator side of things the sanitization practices of playing areas in equipment. Both of those things were ranked 1 and 2 in terms of the more that people see this the more comfortable they feel. Not too far behind that was seeing people engaging in Social distance practices. On a related note scoring very highly was treating event staff that was enforcing social distancing with respect.
Kylie: Okay, very good, I thought that it was interesting that they were strongly against no Spectators being allowed. so William let's go back to you and talk just about the business side of things. Two big issues here, one is this is costing facilities a lot of money to make these changes but also consumer confidence, so to speak, where you have to keep your customer happy. Can you share your thoughts on us about those two points?
William: Absolutely there is a significant cost associated with these enhancements as we continue to evaluate exactly what we do. For some facilities it may not be as much, but we are a 400 acre campus with a multitude of fields, and this amplifies that. From our standpoint we have already put ourselves in a position where we have forecasted a lot of our projections to your point this is going to be tough for us because we want to have confidence instilled into our consumer that we have provided a safe environment where they can play. These features will rise to the top and from our standpoint we will need to look at these and not only look at it for this year but for years to come.
Kylie: Okay, David we talked a little bit about this off camera about how these results are so important for huge venues like Grand Park all the way down to small town little leagues all throughout the small cities and areas in Indiana. How do you get these results out there far and wide so everyone can see them and make these decisions about what to do?
Dr. Pierce: Yeah absolutely, we are going to work with our PR team in Indiana University and also in conjunction with Williams team up there with the city of Westfield and hopefully the indication of the number of respondents, with over 10,000, hopefully we are getting this out into the hands of facility operators. We are really here trying to provide this as a service so those folks really understand how parents are going to respond and how to react to these different adaptations before they arrive.
Kylie: And David, we don't want to get too far into the weeds here but you also just mentioned just a minute ago that you teased out some more data with recreational league parents versus people involved in travel leagues. What can you tell us about that?
Dr. Pierce: Generally speaking the recreational parents, so the ones that are not engaging in travel competition, see all 12 of the adaptations as much more important and much more fundamental to the experience. They want to see those on a much larger scale in order to feel safe, whereas the travel parents had a different profile, so to speak, and they were much more willing 2 quickly get things back to normal. It wasn't that they don't think that those adaptations should occur, they just aren't as strong in their belief before they feel safe in engaging in that activity.
Kylie: Okay, and William, with just a few seconds left do you have some closing thoughts with the practices underway at Grand Park, kind of a soft launch of these adaptations. What are you seeing on the fields there right now? How are people responding?
William: We started back practices late last week and next week we will add a few more. People are being very cautious, they understand that we are going to roll this out slow as we get to the point where we can get back to tournaments but it's good to have activity back on the campus. I think the kids are enjoying it but everybody has been a little cautious staying away from each other and a lot of our Main areas are still closed so we will evaluate those as we go through this process.
Kylie: William and David, thank you for being on the show today. Full results are coming within a few days so we will certainly be following up and sharing those results as they become available. Thanks guys for being on the show.
William: Thank you
Dr. Pierce: Thank you, Kylie
Kylie: Gerry, back to you.
Gerry: All right Kylie thanks. Interesting data indeed, thanks very much.