WXYZ — The Detroit Police Athletic League is trying to be a driving force in the safe resumption of youth sports. Being at the heart of Michigan Coronavirus pandemic, it feels like as we begin to resume some sort of normalcy, there isn’t a rush to get things back to the way they were, especially when it comes to our children.
“You gotta put that time capsule up and say where do you want to stand when history begins to rebuild itself on what you put in place,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Jammerson said.
Detroit PAL, like many youth sports organizations around the state, are facing significant challenges to getting back on the playing field this summer. The Governor has enlisted a task force, made up of 30 youth sports leaders from around the state, to put together guidelines that will get our kids back to playing safely, but not every community is the same.
“It’s been a struggle, us as adults, we have a hard enough time staying six-feet away from each other let alone kids, by nature they just want to play more than even play baseball,” Vice President of St. Clair Little League Matt Distelrath said.
“Take it with the same kind of care that you would going to the grocery store interacting with people that aren’t apart of your family unit,”
Facilities are another issue, not every ball park has the amenities to accommodate the new guidelines, and the budgets aren’t in place for necessary PPE and sanitizer needs. These are all apart of the discussion, which will take time.
“We just as anyone else want to get back, we want to return to play as quickly as we can, but at the same time we cannot put returning to play above safety,” i9 franchise owner Joe Russo said.
“There are signs of when youth sports should come back, there’s an understanding of the risk that is there, there is training that has put in place for participants and spectators that will be in that environment, there’s proper PPE equipment that is there as far as being able to ensure that that environment can be kept and maintained, then, that’s when sports can come back,” Jammerson said.
So here are some of the things you should do when looking into your child getting back to playing. Does your league have a plan for precautionary measures? Do they have the necessary equipment at the facilities to resume play safely? If needed, can parents help supply necessary funds to help expedite the process.