Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- For the first time in 73 years, the Little League World Series will not be played this summer in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. That is just one event that was canceled, showing that youth sports have also been greatly affected by this Covid-19 Pandemic.
However it looks like change could be coming soon, at least in the state of Tennessee.
If Governor Bill Lee’s ‘Stay-At-Home’ order is relaxed on May 29th, some youth sports teams could be playing by May 30th. Goodlettsville Little League team president Johnny Garrett has been working around the clock to bring baseball back.
“We’ve been in constant contact with our Goodlettsville city officials, our city manager Tim Ellis has been very supportive of this effort. Governor Lee’s current order still prevents youth and adult sports from having social gatherings with more than ten people. So we’re very hopeful that expires at the end of the month,” said Garrett.
Garrett said right now they’re doing all the planning, to ensure safety comes first; using a new ball every half inning, not sharing equipment and keeping players six feet apart as much as possible.
“We’re telling our folks if you’re feeling sick at all, stay home, this isn’t something you have to do. Our kids won’t be in the dugout, the umpire will call balls and strikes behind the pitcher, and we’re setting up the batters box where the catcher and the batter will be six feet apart. We’re having hand sanitizer stations and we won’t have bleachers for spectators to gather,” said Garrett.
When it comes to feedback from parents, Garrett said that most of it has been positive and the only complications have been with dates of play, due to families taking their vacations or coaches having to work their other jobs.
Right now there are around 30 teams that have agreed to play each other in the regular season and while there is no LLWS this year, they do intend to put together statewide All-Star teams that will play for a championship.
“We’re hopeful to have a state tournament that would probably be at the end of July. We’re planning for that right now, but we’re just hopeful that we can a least get a regular season in for all of our kids,” added Garrett.