EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 16, 2012

Nighttime sports return

Ban due to EEE threat lifted, allowing games, practices after dusk

HAVERHILL — It’s back to playing sports under the lights at Trinity Stadium and Riverside Park, now that the threat of the EEE virus has diminished.

Last night, Haverhill High School held its first varsity and junior varsity field hockey games at Trinity Stadium since the city ordered a ban last month on outdoor sports after dusk.

Field hockey as well as soccer games that were being held on natural turf at the high school during the day have all returned to the artificial turf of the stadium, the city’s premire sports venue.

From high school sports to youth and adult leagues, outdoor games and practices that weren’t being allowed after the sun went down have resumed.

Mayor James Fiorentini ordered the ban to be lifted yesterday at the recommendation of Board of Health Chairman Dr. Carl Rosenbloom. The mayor’s chief of staff, David Van Dam, said below-freezing temperatures over the weekend and a killing frost reduced the threat of Eastern Equine Encaphalitis that human receive through bites from infected mosquitoes. Officials had previously announced the ban would be in effect until the first hard frost.

“The mayor is happy that normal activities can resume and schools have been notified that they can resume normal activities as well,” Van Dam said.

The ban resulted in the postponement and rescheduling of several sporting events, including the Oct. 5 night football game at Trinity Stadium featuring Haverhill High against Chelmsford.

The game was held the afternoon of Oct. 6. The Hillies beat the Chelmsford Lions 30 to 23.

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, which also adhered to the outdoor ban by stopping practices and games by dusk, was scheduled to play at Georgetown on Sept. 22. Instead the game was held that day at Whittier after Georgetown implemented its own EEE ban on outdoor activities.

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