Little League Encouragement to getting kids back playing on fields


WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The devastating effects of COVID-19 have impacted businesses, families and youth sports.
A virtual round table was held this morning lead by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey on the importance of getting kids back outside again.

Due to the pandemic this year’s Little League World Series has been canceled.

Senator Toomey says, “as I said I have a ten year old son and if we could resume little league baseball where I live I would sign him up tomorrow because I’m convinced this can be done safely.”

Senator Toomey gathered sports leaders and a health to examine the best practices for youth sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group explained, there are some real challenges. But say it’s time to get back in the game.

Jennie Finch, Youth Softball Ambassador for Major League Baseball (MLB), tells us, “it’s been really really hard to see them isolated luckily were down in Louisiana so we have open spaces we’re in kind of a rural area so they’ve been able to get outside and do things, and I can’t imagine not being able to do those things.”

Tony Reagins, Executive Vice President for Baseball and Softball Development for MLB, says, “they yearn for the opportunity to be with their friends on  a daily basis and practicing and get out there and play the game so there is a deep desire to get out there as it relates to young people and get back on the banner.”

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University says, if you can design appropriate safety protocols, youth baseball and softball are the perfect place to start.

He says, “if you think about all the sports that could potentially reopen, my opinion baseball and softball are among the top as in safest. the nature of the sport itself you have social distancing on the field imposed almost by the rules of the sport.”

And Stephen Keener, President and CEO of Little League International says they have already been preparing a list of the best practices of resuming little league baseball and softball.

Keener tells us, “when you get the green flag from state local and health officials saying its okay to start these types of activities and here’s the model here’s the program here’s the best practices that were going to provide so you can do this as safely as possible.”

These leaders say the quicker we can get kids back on the field, the quicker we can continue instilling life lessons in them.

Jimmy Rollins, a former Philadelphia Phillies player says, “you learn to lean on others to trust in others and as kids whether you have kids or nieces and nephews they’re selfish everything s mine mine mine mine. in sports there is no mine its ours. everything has to be shared the ball has to be shared ball has to be shared the field has to be shared the outer space you have to learn how to work with others how to get along with others.”

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