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New England Flag Football League Faces $2,000 Penalty For Violating N.H. COVID Emergency Order

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cc_chapman/4878972642/in/photostream/" target="blank">CC Chapman</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

A Massachusetts-based flag football league is facing $2,000 fine for violating a New Hampshire emergency order issued as part of the state's response to COVID-19.

The New England Flag Football League hosted a tournament in Epping, N.H., toward the end of August, with teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin participating.

But under Emergency Order 52 and the state’s guidance for amateur and youth sports, teams from outside of the New England region aren’t allowed at competitive sporting events in New Hampshire.  

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The Attorney General’s office says they communicated this several times to the league’s president, Austin Bradshaw, who said he understood the guidance.

In an email to the Attorney General August 20, Bradshaw said the league had redone the tournament’s schedule without the non-New England teams.

During the weeks of Aug. 31 and Sept. 7, the Attorney General’s office requested documents “showing where the teams came from, how they traveled to New Hampshire, and copies of the documents the teams and athletes provided with respect to any waivers.”

The league provided some of those documents, but the AG says it missed other deadlines and didn’t provide information on how the teams traveled, or their home states.

In a letter to Bradshaw laying out the penalty, the AG’s office called the league’s actions “reckless and intentional.”

Under an emergency order issued by the governor, the attorney general can seek a civil penalty against anyone who violates any coronavirus-related order.

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