Youth sports across the state were given the go-ahead to start up June 1, with stipulations to keep everyone as safe as possible as we navigate COVID-19. The June 10 date allowed programs to increase participation from 10 to 25 in one pod for outdoors in low risk activities like running, cycling and golf.
Medium-risk sports like baseball, basketball and soccer might be able to resume activity by the end of June, if COVID-19 health measures continue in the current direction, according to the department of heath. High-risk sports like wrestling, football and martial arts would follow as more activities resume.
Organizations needed to file a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to set guidelines for everyone from parents to participants and staff.
Jefferson football plans to host two camps for kids entering third-eighth grades. A quarterback/receiver camp on July 14 followed by a youth camp is set for July 21-23. Info: jeffersonfootball.org.
The three phase approach made by several youth baseball and softball organizations proposed is clear.
Phase 1 includes groups of no more than 10 (coaches/players) to follow social distancing while outside.
Phase II caps the number of people at gatherings at 50. Vulnerable people should remain at home but the number would allow for games to take place, with restrictions.
Phase III includes no limit on the size of a gathering. Sports can return to normal operation. Vulnerable populations can resume public interactions but should practice social distancing and take necessary precautions.
Both soccer organizations, Minnesota Youth Soccer Association and Twin Cities Soccer Leagues outlined a five-step plan to return to play in a letter to Gov. Tim Walz in mid-May.
Phase 1 allows individual home workouts, guided by clubs through the internet; Phase II allows for outdoor practices with 10 or fewer participants with specific protocols to maintain distances without contact; Phase III includes resuming team training with safe practices to remain apart; Phase IV allows for league play to resume with rules to stay safe and Phase V is the return to the game before COVID-19.
Bloomington Fastpitch Association and Bloomington Traveling Baseball Association have cancelled their respective seasons.
BTBA released an update on its website (btba.org) on June 4 that the traditional season is cancelled, with refunds going out minus %55 per player to cover tryout and additional expenses.
Metro Baseball League (MBL) is developing a July/August season. The six-week, 12-game league might offer tournament play. “BTBA plans to support existing teams that want to play in this revised format and can assist with roster or coaching changes that may be needed,” the release said.