WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Play ball is something that the Watertown American Little League plans on doing this season, but it won't be your traditional season.
The league was set to open on May 2, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans have been pushed back until late June, when phase four of reopening is planned to take place.
“What we decided to do because we lost all that time and preparation is we’re going run what’s called a sandlot-style Little League,” said Watertown American Little League president Jeff Wekar said, “where the kids are placed into age brackets, they will come to the field and they’ll be divided among teams when they show up.”
The abbreviated season will run about five weeks and the kids will play about 10 games, with extra precautions taken for both players and fans in attendance.
"We're going to get our guidance from the county and the health department,” Wekar said, “but things that we're going to put in place, we're going to ask the spectators to wear face masks, we're going to only have 3 kids in the dugouts and then we'll put the additional kids on the bleachers on first and third base side and then we'll put the spectators kind of in the outfield."
COVID-19 has also prevented the league from doing their annual tag fundraiser, where kids seek donations at local businesses, leaving the league short of those funds.
So the league has come up with a virtual tag day instead.
“The Watertown American Little League Facebook page tomorrow will have a link directly to the gofundme page,” Wekar said. “They can email email@example.com to get information, they can also call 315-771- 2688.”
If all goes as planned, one of the nation’s longest-running leagues won’t miss a beat in the 2020 season.