Seasons still a-go for youth sports ... for now

Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 8:29 PM EDT
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Much has been said about the cancellation and postponement of professional and college sports during the COVID-19 outbreak.

But what about local youth sports?

Normally by this point in the spring, fields across the area are beginning to see players getting ready for their upcoming season. But not during the time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

"We have aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents out here, so it's nice to have them see the youngsters play, and it would be unfortunate if they didn't have that opportunity, and for those kids to not be able to play as well," Tim McGrady, president of the Perrysburg Amateur Baseball and Softball Commission, said.

While not play is definitely a possibility, program directors are exploring every option available to get kids on the diamonds and fields.

"We're keeping a close eye on what local, state, and federal agencies are doing, and we'll make decisions based on that," Rob Mahon, Sylvania Recreation Senior Program Director, said.

Sylvania Recreation hosts 11 adult sports and 14 youth sports, with a chunk of those taking place during the spring and summer months.

Based upon the latest announcement that schools will remain closed until May 1, Mahon thinks Memorial Day weekend would be the earliest spring and summer sports would start, about a week or two after they normally get underway.

Of course, that's not a finalized plan, more of an intent based on current conditions.

Lacrosse was supposed to play from April 13-May 21 and soccer from mid-April through mid-May, and while those dates will not happen, the seasons aren't wiped out yet. They'll start and end later.

They won't be the only sports with adjustments to their schedules. Modifications to all spring sports schedules will likely be utilized, such as doubleheaders and an extra game during the week.

"There is no handbook on how to deal with this stuff, so we've taken it in stride," McGrady said. "Hopefully we make the right decisions for our community and make sure everyone is safe."

Right now, there are 738 kids signed up to play baseball and softball in Perrysburg. McGrady wants to see the season, whether that means a condensed season or a normal amount of games.

"We want to have these kids be able to play baseball and softball this year," McGrady said.

According to Mahon, if the season starts in mid-May, they'll play into the end of July, and if the start is at the beginning of June, they'll stretch into August.

"It just depends on when we're able to actually get the kids on the field to practice and play," he said.

In a worst-case situation where spring and summer sports get completely canceled, both Mahon and McGrady said full refunds will be given back for registration.

In the meantime, both said they'll contine to update their communities via email in the coming days and weeks.

And just to show nothing's been decided yet, registration continues on the

for spring and summer sports.