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Johnstown Little League hosting abbreviated season

Gloversville, Broadalbin and Fonda-Fultonville players join

Players wait to take the field after the 2019 Johnstown Little League's Opening Day ceremonies at Peter Hand Park. The league will host a shortened season starting Monday that will also include players from the Gloversville, Fonda-Fultonville and Broadalbin, which have opted not to host seasons this year due to COVID-19 mandates and restrictions. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

There will be a baseball season for the local Little Leaguers!

The Johnstown Little League has welcomed players from the Gloversville, Broadalbin and Fonda-Fultonville little leagues to join them for an abbreviated season that will run from Monday to Aug. 7.

“We have had kids decide to join our league from Broadalbin, Fonda, and Gloversville, as they have all decided to not have a season,” Johnstown Little League president Jeff Klingbeil said. “No weekend games are scheduled, unless there is a rescheduled game. We have safety precautions that will be enforced on the leagues’ website.”

Registration for the season was held in mid-June.

The Gloversville Little League sent out a survey prior to the area entering Phase 4 which would allow youth sports leagues to open if they chose to and followed protocols.

“As a Board we have worked extremely hard to monitor and track all the daily updates regarding the “what’s next and how to’s,” Gloversville Little League president Kelli DeMaio said in a statement released to parents. “We have been given guidance and regulations from Little League International, our Governor, NYSDH, and our local Public Health office. A couple of weeks ago we sent out a survey to you regarding our season. The results of that survey along with the list of safety procedures and protocols for COVID19 were discussed at a meeting for us to evaluate a season.”

The results of the survey led to the decision to cancel the 2020 season and turn the focus to the 2021 season.

“We are sad to say that with such a low number of players able to commit for the summer months and the many different protocols and limitations we would need to adhere to, we have decided that we will not be able to have a season,” she said. “This was not an easy decision for us by any means, but we do feel it is what is best. The safety and well-being of players, parents, volunteers, and community is what is most important.”

Johnstown Little League released a list of precautions league officials will be enforcing.

Johnstown Little League Park COVID Safety Procedures

– If you are sick please STAY HOME.

– Please do not arrive at the park more than 30 minutes before start time.

– Players, Coaches and Umpires temperatures taken prior to the game. Any temperature above 100.4 will be asked to leave the premises. Temperatures will be logged.

– Every time a player/coach or umpire steps on the field, they are required to use hand sanitizer. If you leave the field of play to go to the stands, bathroom, concession, etc. you are required to re-sanitize.

– Only 3 players and one coach are allowed in the dugout. We ask that the pitcher and catcher take preference as it’ll be hot and they could use the shade. ALL other players will have a designated spot for their gear and to sit along the fence line. These will be marked by Hula hoops. Have the player bring his own chair or he/she can just sit on the ground.

– NO sharing of equipment with the exception of a bat that is sanitized prior to entrance and the baseball. Equipment bags will be kept in the concession and disinfected after every game. A log will be kept to show the bag was disinfected.

– Bathrooms/Concession/Gates will be disinfected at the end of each game.

– Coaches and umpires are required to wear masks and have them covering their mouth and nose when they cannot social distance (Stay six ft. away). (When a player is on first base and the first base coach has a conversation with runner, or when a coach calls time and talks to the pitcher.)

– Concession will have prepackaged items only, NO Prepared foods or drink. (E.g. water, Gatorade, soda, candy, freeze pops.) Volunteers in the concession stand are required to wear a mask and gloves. Please remain six ft. apart when waiting in line at the concession and bathroom.

– NO SEEDS OR GUM ARE PERMITTED ON THE PREMISE.

– Only two Patrons per player (COACH of a kid is not included in the two). Each Patron over the age of 13 is required to have a mask and to wear it when they cannot social distance (6ft apart). The concession has masks if necessary. Any one not wearing a mask will be asked to put one on, if there is refusal to wear one that person/persons will be asked to leave the premises. The bleachers have been removed, so please bring your own chair to sit along the fence 6 ft. apart.

– In the event of a COVID incident being traced to the Park, the coach will be contacted immediately and the park will follow the local health department and CDC guidelines.

“The umpire will actually have to stand behind the pitcher and call balls and strikes,” Klingbeil said. “Each player’s gear will be placed along the outside fence in hula hoops that are set six ft apart. Bleachers will be removed and patrons are asked to bring their own lawn chairs to sit along the fence 6 ft apart. The concession stand will only sell prepackaged items as nothing will be prepared and no sharing of equipment with the exception of the baseball.”

The league is offering play in the major, minors, coach pitch and tee ball, they have staggered start times.

“It’s been hectic, and we have had to revise, and re-revise safety precautions with the guidance constantly changing but we’ve adapted and we are ready,” Klingbeil said. “This has and always will be about the kids getting an outlet.”

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