Quiet since March, some ball fields at Warren County parks will finally see some action this week, following the dictates of Gov. Andy Beshear’s guidelines for emerging from the coronavirus lockdown.
Warren County Parks and Recreation Director Chris Kummer said Friday that three county baseball leagues and the county’s inline hockey league will begin limited practices Monday and will aim for resuming competition in July.
“We’re sequentially getting back,” Kummer said. “The inline hockey league will resume practice with modifications, and three baseball leagues will begin practicing with no spectators.”
Kummer said Warren County South and Warren County North Little League baseball teams will start practicing Monday, along with the county’s Cal Ripken baseball teams.
They will utilize 12 of the county’s baseball fields, with the rest remaining closed for now.
“It’s going to look a lot different,” Kummer said. “Teams will be allowed to practice with one coach and no more than 10 players.
“It has been a very detailed process. We’ve been meeting with the leagues and going over the re-implementation process. These four programs have met our policies and procedures.”
Those procedures will be in place for two weeks. Then, on June 29, the rules laid out by the state change a little.
According to state guidelines, low-touch indoor and outdoor sports may resume competitions with up to 50 spectators present, but those spectators must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
High-touch indoor and outdoor sports such as football, soccer and basketball may advance to the next phase June 29, participating in practices that limit scrimmages and competition with one coach for every 10 players. These practices should not be considered “full contact.” State guidelines haven’t yet spelled out when competitions may resume in high-touch sports.
Kummer said competitive games for the three baseball leagues will begin July 6, with no more than 50 spectators per field. He said the parks department is encouraging spectators to wear masks and observe social distancing.
Kummer said the time between practices and games will be extended to give park staff time to thoroughly clean the areas and equipment.
He said the success of this modified return to youth sports will “depend on the public helping us out” by observing the rules.