Youth baseball and golf leagues will be back in Burke County this summer, assuming North Carolina moves into Phase 3 of the reopening process on June 26 as planned.
The Burke County Recreation Department youth baseball/softball league and Mimosa Hills PGA Jr. League golf team have both set tentative dates to start seasons delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, league officials confirmed Monday.
For both the baseball/softball and golf teams, there will be no postseason this year. The Tarheel League, through whom the county league is sanctioned, has canceled all its 2020 districts and state tournaments, and the PGA Jr. League condensed its spring, summer and fall seasons into one summer season and canceled all regional and national postseason events.
The Burke County Rec league announced in a Facebook post that it hopes to start the season June 29 on the diamond.
“We are planning to start games Friday, June 29, which would put us in Phase 3 if things go accordingly,” the post reads. “We will wait until the Governor releases the information for Phase 3 before determining exactly what social distancing guidelines or gathering limits will be set for games.”
Teams can start practicing now and are reminded to follow Phase 2 social distancing guidelines and mass gathering limits.
“Until Phase 2 is complete, all practices are required to be limited to no more than 10 individuals indoors or 25 individuals outdoors, and all social distancing guidelines should be adhered to specified by Executive Order 141 as well as the (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services) interim guidance,” according to the post.
Executive Order 141 can be viewed at files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO141-Phase-2.pdf. The NCDHHS Guidance for Sports Programs can be viewed at files.nc.gov/covid/documents/guidance/NCDHHS-Interim-Guidance-for-Youth-College-Amateur-Sports-Phase-2.pdf.
The league will be open to Burke County residents only “due to the current circumstances,” the post states.
Signups are still taking place, and those who have not signed up are encouraged to do so now by contacting their local athletic coordinator. The following programs will field teams this year: Salem, Mull, Oak Hill, Drexel, Glen Alpine, Ray Childers, Valdese, W.A. Young, East Burke and New Dimensions. For anyone unsure who their coordinator is or with any other questions, contact the Burke County Rec at 828-764-9090.
T-ball is co-ed and available for ages 6 and under. Softball and baseball age divisions include pee wee (7-8), mighty mite (9-10), midget (11-12) and junior (13-14).
Mimosa Hills Golf Club head pro Jimmy Piercy says signups for the local PGA Jr. League team will start June 10, with the goal to start the season sometime after July 1. Call the pro shop at 828-437-1246 for more details.
Robert Bolick, Morganton Recreation Department athletic programs supervisor, said the city hopes to make a decision as soon as possibly this week on its summer youth baseball, tennis and swimming teams.
Last week, the Valdese Torpedo youth swim team announced its season was canceled but said it hopes to get together for some form of abbreviated summer program in July.
Paul Schenkel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-432-8950.
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