Youth sports in PA start back up in green phase; precautions being taken amid COVID-19

WARRINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- For many, it's a sound synonymous with summer. The crack of the baseball bat reverberating once again Friday evening at Barness Park in Warrington, Bucks County.

Young athletes were eager to return to the ballpark after a long hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been four or five, six months since the last action," said Shane Masterson with the Warrington A's. "So, can't be more excited to get out here and compete with the other team."

Masterson says he's very excited for baseball as he and his team believed there wouldn't be a season this year.

"Everything was getting canceled," said Kaleb Powell from the Upper Moreland Bears.

Coaches were just as happy to be able to have a season this year. "Been chomping at the bit to get out here and play," said coach Andy Ogilvie.

Despite the excitement around the season, the masks players had on their faces indicate that this is no ordinary day at-bat between the teams.

While the current "Green Phase" allows for gameplay, there are still many precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19

"There's sanitizer. We've been doing temperature checks before we get started," said Ogilvie.

They also downsized the dugout and no shared watercolor. And as unusual as it is for both players and coaching staff, no displays of sportsmanship.

The teams are also having players do "check-ins" to trace should someone fall ill.

As far as spectating, social distancing is a must and there are also occupancy limits.

No more than 250 people and a facility may not exceed 50 percent of its total occupancy.

"Just making sure I'm six feet apart form everyone. I have my mask here," said spectator Victoria Walsh. "We have hand sanitizer and everything ready to go."

While it may not be the game as many remember it, everyone agrees that this is a case where everyone should step up to the plate to keep things moving forward.

Many in this community grateful to the Warrington Athletic Association for setting the groundwork for youth sports to start back up.

"We'll adapt to whatever they throw at us," said Masterson. "There's a lot of rules in place, but if we get to play baseball, we get to play baseball so."
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