DEERFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Under Phase 3 guidelines for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, youth sports were allowed to resume.
The CBS 2 Morning Insiders headed to Deerfield to find out what a baseball practice looks like in the COVID era. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas on Friday morning told us how it’s been working so far.
In his 13 years of coaching baseball, Paul Chanan has never had to incorporate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols into his practices.
“No, we never had anything even close to this,” he said.
But he has to do that now.
“We had to set some guidelines,” Chanan said.
Among those guidelines are requiring players to socially distance.
“We stay six feet apart,” said player Ben McNair.
Also required are the use of hand sanitizer between drills, and the regular cleaning of equipment – such as disinfecting baseballs.
And if it looks like there are not enough players for a baseball team on the field, that’s because there aren’t. The team of 12 people is divided into groups of six players to follow the 10-person limit.
Other things you will not see include players in the dugout; or sliding, tagging, or holding runners on base.
And, said player Raphael Feldman, “When it was normal people were sharing seeds and sharing gum, and now we’re not allowed to have that stuff.”
But Deerfield’s 9-year-old players say getting to practice is worth the small inconveniences to protect everyone from COVID-19.
“I love baseball and I’m glad we can still play it,” Ben said.
“Oh yeah, I’m lucky we got to have practices,” Raphael added.
And so far, Chanan said, “It’s been going great.”
Assistant coach and parent Jon Gault added, “Kids are very, very adaptable.”
“Maybe the first practice was a little weird – ‘Hey, time to wash your hands’- that’s not normal, right? ‘Hey keep spread out’ – that’s not normal,” Gault said. “But it becomes normal very, very quickly and they’re having a blast.”
And Gault is glad the kids will get to stay active this summer.
“It’s great to have them outside, running around, and playing a game that they love and we love too,” he said.
Phase 3 only allows for practices. But Phase 4, which could come as soon as the end of June, would permit games to take place.