Youth sports have been stuck in limbo since the temporary shutdown that started back in late March and ran through April. Sports weren’t allowed to take place during that time, but with things opening back up, the question arose about whether or not youth sports could start back late.
Last week Moulton Parks and Rec Director stated that the youth sports leagues could start back, but it would be up to those leagues to make a decision for themselves.
The T-ball and softball leagues voted not to resume play this year, leaving just the baseball league to make its decision.
The baseball league met last week to decide what they wanted to do, and came to a decision that may bring joy to a lot of people in Lawrence County.
“We’re going to give it a shot,” said Brad Henderson, head of the Moulton baseball league. “We’re going to try and play some baseball.”
Henderson stated that the decision was a easy one to come to and that almost everyone was in mutual agreement.
“The majority of us wanted to play,” Henderson said. “We talked about moving it to the fall, but then you run into football.”
The season was originally scheduled to start back at the end of April, with the league’s fun day originally scheduled for April 23.
Now the league is hoping they can get it going this month.
“We’re shooting to start somewhere between the 20 and 25,” said Henderson. “We hope to have around a five to six week season.”
There will be plenty of strict social distancing guidelines to follow that will be up to the league to enforce.
There’s still a lot of details to be hashed out including teams and rosters, what days they will be able to play and if other leagues from around the county will join.
Henderson said there should be a clearer picture by later this week.
In the meantime here are the guidelines handed down by the state that must be followed:
Players, spectators, and other participants should, when possible, minimize in-person contact with others not in their household, in part by maintaining six feet of separation from them. When maintaining six feet of separation is not possible, other methods should be used to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as, when not playing, wearing a face covering or mask and frequently washing or sanitizing hands.
Health protocols for vulnerable populations:
Anyone participating in sporting events or practices should for the next 14 days minimize in-person contact with any person 65 years of age or older and people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Minimizing contact includes maintaining social distancing of at least six feet from those individuals, wearing a face covering or mask when near them, and not sharing utensils or other common objects with them.
It is strongly recommended that all businesses associated with adult and youth sports follow applicable COVID-19-related safety guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication, Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes, at https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html
FOR ALL PLAYERS, VOLUNTEERS, SPECTATORS, AND EMPLOYEES:
Screen yourself and any participating child for symptoms before coming to facilities with the following questions:
Have you or the child been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
Are you or the child experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
Have you or the child had a fever in the last 48 hours?
Have you or the child experienced new loss of taste or smell?
Have you or the child experienced vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
Screen for fever:
Best practice: Have each participants or spectators temperature taken onsite with a no-touch thermometer upon arrival.
Minimum practice: People take their own temperatures, and those of their participating or spectating children, before arriving. A normal temperature does not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (answers yes to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) should leave the sporting event immediately, or not go to it, and seek medical care or COVID-19 testing or both.
Increase hygiene practices: wash hands frequently, avoid touching your face, practice good etiquette when coughing or sneezing.
Players, coaches, officials and spectators over the age of five shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times except when a player or official is directly participating in the athletic activity.
Keep six feet of social distancing between people of different households off the field of play and when practicable, on the field of play.
Players, coaches, officials, and spectators should refrain from high fives, handshakes, and other physical contact except to the extent necessary—and only to the extent necessary—for players, coaches, and officials to directly participate in the athletic activity.
Players, coaches, and officials should not share water coolers, drinking stations, water bottles, cups, or other drinking devices.
Use at a game site when practicable a clearly designated entrance and a separate clearly designated exit to help maintain social distancing.
Regularly and frequently clean and sanitize as often as practicable shared resources/equipment and high-touch surfaces such as balls, bats, and other athletic equipment, chairs, and restrooms.
Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar cleaning or washing materials readily available at game sites.
Encourage parent/guardian supervision for all children, in part to ensure that children comply with guidelines.