Youth baseball, softball plan return

Published 6:59 pm Friday, June 5, 2020

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Baseball and softball fields won’t be completely untouched this summer, after all. Washington’s Youth Baseball and Youth Softball leagues will revamp in the coming weeks, with registrations open now until the end of next week. Practices will begin June 15.

There are several precautionary measures being taken to protect all players, coaches and parents from the COVID-19 virus, as league directors Monte Weathington and Will Tyson say that safety is their No. 1 priority and concern.

All coaches, parents and children shall be no closer than six feet apart at any time. There will be no physical contact of any kind. This includes hugs, high fives, handshakes, face-to-face conversations and more, according to the league’s Facebook page. There will be limited use of the dugout areas and no usage of bleacher areas by anyone until it is further cleared by the city.

Players will not be permitted to share any equipment. Parents will be required to sanitize all of their players’ equipment before every practice. If children are showing symptoms of sickness, they will not be allowed to practice. The league will provide masks to any players or coaches feeling sick or who requests one.

As far as practices go, they will be short, in order to allow the field to be cleared of people and sanitized before the next group comes in. If a team uses the first-base dugout in the first practice, the next group will use the third-base dugout.

Until the 25-person outdoor rule is lifted, parents will not be able to surround the fences during practice and are asked to stay in their vehicles or walk around the complex until the practices have concluded.

Despite the many rules, Weathington explained how important it was to provide a season for kids in the area.

“Our main reason for trying so hard to have a season is simple — the girls,” Weathington said. “Their whole lives have been turned upside down. From schools being closed, to all of their extracurricular activities being taken away from them in a matter of hours. A lot of these girls look forward to playing all year long, and if we can make that happen, give them back something they love, then it is our job to do so.”

Both leagues have opened up registration for children in all of Beaufort County and Williamston.

Tyson said this is an opportunity for kids who have been cooped up in the house all spring to get out and get active.

“We want kids to be able to get out and do something other than online schoolwork, have a good time and play with their friends that they haven’t seen in a long time,” Tyson said. “We’re doing everything we can to make this happen, as long as the governor doesn’t throw any more restrictions on us or anything crazy. We’re in communication with the city, and our plan is to kick it off here on the 15th of June, get some practice and work in, and hopefully be playing games by the second week of July.”

Visit for the Washington Girls Fast Pitch Softball League or Washington NC Youth Baseball’s website to register for the upcoming season.