Little League returns, only a little different

By 
Jackson Mcmurrey
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Photo by Jackson McMurrey Nutting Park, one of several fields in Laurel used to hold Little League activities. For the 2020 season, players and spectators will be required to exercise social distancing throughout its duration.

Photo by Jackson McMurrey Nutting Park, one of several fields in Laurel used to hold Little League activities. For the 2020 season, players and spectators will be required to exercise social distancing throughout its duration.

According to a press release from the Laurel Little League last Wednesday, May 6, Little League activities are set to resume, finally. Although no teams nor schedules have yet been established, the approved guidelines to carry the 2020 season have been released to the Little League Board of Directors who have been preparing and will continue to work through these guidelines.

The new Little League guidelines include what the public may have already been expecting in terms of keeping up with the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the burdens within. Of course, maintaining social distancing has been set as a top priority. Some bleachers will be reserved for players to sit, in turn maintaining limited number of bodies in dugouts.

Adults and players on the bleachers must otherwise maintain a distance of six feet from each other, and physical markers are said to be posted indicating a safe distance. There is an exception stating that members of the same household can sit together with less than six feet apart from one another.

Players’ bags and belongings will be required to be spread apart along the outside of dugouts and backstops to encourage social distancing, and no team/ group meetings will be allowed before or after half innings. Pregame plate meetings must now be restricted to only managers and umpires without players, and no post-game handshake/fist bump will be allowed.

Shared equipment including bats, helmets, and catchers gear will have to be sanitized with bleach products or products of equal ability before prior to practices and after each individual use. Social distancing guidelines will be followed, but in the event that appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained, a total group size of people will be limited to 10 participants, players and adults alike.

As if baseball traditions hadn’t been tainted enough by now, the list continues to cover how concessions will be maintained. A big bullet there pointed out how only pre-packaged food and drinks would be available— meaning no hot dogs. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, maybe, so long as they are pre-packed and sanitized before hand.

The cherry-on-top of the whole home run is that nothing is really going to be exactly as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated the way of life for people everywhere. Little League umpires are now said to call pitches from behind the pitcher’s mound rather than be hind the plate.

This year’s Little League season, the kids, families, and coaches are going to be dealing with a massive reformation; many players on the younger teams may not even fully understand what exactly is happening, yet, yet are being thrown right into the curve. According to a post on Laurel Little League’s Facebook page from April 27, games could happen as early as June 1, but would need to see the implementation of Phase II from the State of Montana. Laurel Little League is taking a cautious and sincere approach to the season to come, and updates are expected on a day-by-day basis as the situation remains fluid.

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Upcoming Events

Monday, June 1, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, June 4, 2020
First Thursday, 5 p.m., City of Laurel Council Chamber
Monday, June 8, 2020
2nd Mondays, 6:30 p.m., at Wood's Powr-Grip, 908 West Main St., use the west entrance, open to the public. 
Monday, June 8, 2020
2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m., Laurel Public Library

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