SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The City of Sioux Falls is opening the field application process for the summer league season. However, leagues will look a bit different because of COVID-19 protocols that must be put in place.
In an email from his office, Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote:
“When teams play ball this year, it will certainly be different as players, coaches, officials and spectators take safety precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19. If you’re in a league, watch for information from your league on the details of your season. Also, be sure to hold your league organizers accountable.
If you feel greater mitigation efforts are needed or mitigation efforts are not being followed, let your league know your concerns.”
The Sioux Empire Baseball Association shared their excitement of the news through a Facebook post.
Don Kearney is the Director for Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation. He says with the trend of recent coronavirus numbers, the organizations felt comfortable moving forward with summer leagues.
“Each league and organizer is in charge of implementing a plan to safely conduct their event… We’re looking forward to folks being able to play, compete and practice their games,” Kearney says.
He says there has been a mix of both positive and negative feedback with the decision. However, sports associations have said they’re excited to start playing Kearney said.
“It doesn’t mean people have to participate. Some may choose not to participate, and that’s certainly fine and we certainly respect that. It’s up to each individual family if they want to participate or not,” Kearney said.
Kearney says its good to have leagues as long as they implement the operational plans.
The Parks and Recreation Department has also been working with SOAR a program whose focus is Supporting Operations and Resiliency for Businesses. The two organizations worked together to comprise the best practices for sports operations to follow.
People are encouraged to reach out to the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department or the leagues to find out what precautions are being taken for COVID-19 during these events.