County softball leagues are still waiting with hope games can be played this summer.
League officials at Morrison, Midway and Centertown have yet to make any firm determination on if games will be played this year, but the clock is starting to tick on their ability to complete leagues. In previous years, practices would have already started in most leagues and games would be right around the corner.
Right now, ball parks all across the county are dormant and decision-makers are still in the dark about when they can open. Getting started soon is a must for most leagues because pushing back opening day for too long means completion on normal time frames would be undoable.
“We’re looking at May 15 as a day to try to decide what we can do this summer,” said Phyllis Boren, a board member at Midway. “We’ve always tried to finish our leagues by the time school starts.”
Centertown is also expected to meet again soon to consider options for this summer. League officials also expressed their desire to continue to complete action before the start of the next school year.
Likewise, Morrison Ruritan League commissioner John Duncan says their league officials will meet this Sunday. There could be a clear decision made at that time. Duncan has remained hopeful about playing throughout the shutdown, but has made it clear the league will adhere to Gov. Bill Lee’s guidelines.
Optimism about ball fields reopening took a big hit this week when McMinnville Parks and Recreation decided Monday to shut down its spring leagues for baseball, softball and soccer. A day later, Gov. Lee issued an executive order which recommended sporting venues should remain closed. The most recent Executive Order is set to expire May 29, though Lee did speculate that the timeframe could be moved up if further developments or guidelines help alleviate concerns of spreading the virus.
It’s still unclear if all local ballparks are considered sporting venues or if it only applies to larger stadiums or arenas. What does apply though is the state is still recommending limiting gatherings to under 10 people. Lifting the guidelines for gatherings would have to be amended before teams – often consisting of more than 10 players each – could compete.