Play BALL! Safety’s on first for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse

La Crosse County Sports Alliance formed to get kids onto diamonds
What it takes for spring/summer athletes to be “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.”
(Pexels photo)

But nix the sunflower seeds, stay out of the dugouts and parent spectators will be limited at practices under safety protocols the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse outlined in announcing today that summer baseball and softball programming will start next week.
The announcement came after the clubs worked with and received approval from the La Crosse County Health Department to establish safety precautions to begin summer baseball and softball programs.
The effort began May 7, when the clubs’ athletic director, Nick Bernhardt, reached out to other area programs to form the La Crosse County Sports Alliance in their quest to save summer sports.
This group includes programs from La Crosse, Onalaska, Shelby, West Salem and Holmen.
“My main concern with reaching out to other local organizations was to come together as a community to help make the best decision for all of our area youth,” Bernhardt said. “As we began to move forward from this pandemic, it was clear that working together and having an open line of communication was going to give us the best chance to return to play this summer.
“The best part of this whole experience was seeing competing organizations work together for the betterment of all youth in our communities,” he said.
Teams will be required to follow safety measures such as working in small groups during practice, having players use their own equipment as much as possible, sanitizing shared equipment and staying out of dugouts.
There also will be restrictions on parent spectators at practices, the consumption of sunflower seeds and the use of any food or team water jugs — all intended to quash any spread of the novel coronavirus.
For now, baseball and softball teams will be limited to practices with scrimmages taking place toward the middle of June. League games have a target date of starting in July.
The possibility of tournaments still is being discussed because they often require out-of-town travel. Program registration took place in May so the clubs would be prepared in case they could pull together a plan.
So, although registration is closed, anyone interested in participating can contact the clubs’ athletic department with inquiries.
“The success of this plan will only happen if we work together, so we encourage all players, coaches and spectators to respect these throughout the season, until further notice,” Bernhardt said. “We understand that uncertainty exists in anything we do, but our best chance to be successful is to work together as a unified entity.”