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Pandemic quiets most youth sports for summer

Pandemic quiets most youth sports for summer Pandemic quiets most youth sports for summer
Wade Bell, Contributing Writer

The last three months have seen cancellations of both small and professional events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now many summer youth camps and leagues are getting the ax.

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced that baseball could get back on the field on June 14 but with new restrictions. The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced that no school sports activities would be allowed until July 1. That included leaving all high school sports facilities closed until that time.

One of the earliest local cancellations came from the North Harrison Cal Ripken baseball league.

“The board had previously delayed the start of the season based on the recommendations of various local, state and federal guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus,” Marcus Burgher IV, the NHRC treasurer, said in a statement. “Recently, Gov. Holcomb announced plans that would allow for youth baseball leagues to begin play on June 14, 2020. However, the board decided to consider other sports leagues and organizations are dealing with the challenges of resuming play.

“On May 6, 2020, the Indiana High School Athletic Association announced all high school sports-related activities would not be allowed to resume until July 1,” he continued. “After reviewing the status of NCAA sports and professional sports leagues in the United States, the board decided it would be irresponsible to resume the 2020 season at this time. The board was further aware of the fact that several players previously registered to participate would not be playing due to the COVID-19.”

Burgher added that the board members, while disappointed with the cancellation of the season, believe the best approach is to follow the guidance of the
IHSAA and college and professional sports associations.

The league recently began the process of refunding registration fees.

At the YMCA of Harrison County, no summer sports are scheduled until August.

“We don’t have any going on at the Y until late August with our fall youth soccer,” Kimberly Spieth, who was recently named the Y’s new CEO, said.

The Lanesville youth league had suspended its activities until March 30. That delay, however, lengthened when the IHSAA announced postponing all sports activities through June 30.

“We will provide timely notification and information regarding the impact of such a delay,” the league said in a statement.

Since that time, the league decided to cancel the season.

In Crawford County, the debate whether to play or not took some time. The Crawford County youth board members had hopes of getting some game time in during June, but that was checked by the IHSAA restrictions suspending play on school grounds.

“After polling parents on who would be willing to play with precautions, and getting very low numbers, we unfortunately decided to cancel,” said league organizer Rocky Gray.

The South Harrison league in the Elizabeth area also announced it will have no 2020 season. Ninety percent of the fees have already been returned, and the group is already looking forward to the 2021 season.

What appears to be the only youth league to have activity this summer is the Friends of Harrison County Youth, which uses a site in Corydon for most of its events. A wet May delayed most practices until this week.