VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The coronavirus sidelined many sports leagues this year, but one local softball league is making a comeback.
Virginia Beach Parks and Rec sports management coordinator Jane Jagodzinski says they’ve been working months on their guidelines and having them approved through everyone, from city leadership to the health department.
“It is far more reaching than events that happen at this facility, so I think everyone is on board with getting out here and doing everything we need to do to keep it going,” said Jagodzinski.
She says they’ve reduced their maximum number of teams by almost half — that way they only have one doubleheader per field per night.
As far as playing with masks on, she says that’s ultimately up to the player.
They’ve also implemented extended player bench areas so the spectator bleacher area now has more room for players to go in.
Spectators will need to bring chairs and line the sidelines outside the fences.
“What we’ve seen in the fields around the city, people are going out and they’re using them. That’s not a problem because people want to get out and recreate and that’s what we want them to do. By us being able to offer these leagues we can do it in a very safe controlled manner,” stated Jagodzinski.
Each player is encouraged to use their own equipment. They’ve also reduced things as simple as exchanging balls between innings.
She says softball is allowed under the new guidelines because of the minimal contact.
“Any contact in softball is very incidental, from all the research we’ve done and information we’ve received from the governor’s office… Whereas a sport like tackle football, it is integral to the game itself to touch. Softball, we understand there might be instances at a base where you may get tagged by a glove — unfortunately, there might be collisions — but it is very incidental it’s not a big part of that game,” Jagodzinski added.
In mid-September, the youth softball league will start up too.
As far as other sports go, flag football will be allowed this fall.
However, tackle football will not because of how close the contact has to be.
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