While COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the normal youth baseball and softball seasons, Watertown Youth Baseball recently began having games during the summer as the state reopens.
During Phase 2 of the reopening, players could begin practicing and doing drills. Groups were limited to 12 players and coaches. While Phase 2 started on June 9, Watertown did not start practicing until June 26, said Bill Furtado, president of Watertown Youth Baseball.
Last week, the first games were held for Watertown teams traveling to other towns, and on July 13, the first games in Watertown will take place, Furtado said.
“We had many parents reach out to us wanting to hold some sort of season,” Furtado said.
Enough players have joined to have some inter-town games for the younger players, and older ones will take on teams from other towns, Furtado said.
“We currently have 16 teams playing summer Baseball and Softball,” Furtado said. “Our Little League teams will not travel and have practices and training plus games between the few teams they have in each division.
“Softball, and Babe Ruth will be traveling, while following state and each towns restrictions and league rules.”
Games and competition for Moderate Risk sports like baseball, softball, field hockey and track were allowed as part of Phase 3 Step 1, which began on July 6.
Furtado said for Lower Risk activities, the state’s regulations allow: “Sports or activities that involve intermittent contact, but with protective equipment or mitigating measures in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants (e.g., wearing masks, modifying play).” One of the requirements is all participants must wear face coverings at all times.
Higher Risk sports, such as football, basketball and soccer, are only allowed to start practicing under Phase 3 Step 1, and must follow social distancing guidelines. Individual sports, such at tennis, running and golf, are classified as Lower Risk, and are allowed to have outdoor tournaments, which includes multiple teams competing.
For more details of the Massachusetts Phase 3 Step 1 for sports and recreation click here.