EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - With Indiana now in Stage 4 of its reopening plan, both youth and adult recreational leagues are allowed to compete in both games and tournaments.
For Golfmoor Little League, players and coaches were ready to begin practicing back in March before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic swept its way into the Tri-State area.
“We were just at the point of starting practices, literally that week,” head coach Jason Langley said. “They were already fired up and now back down to zero for a couple months, so everyone was excited to get back started.”
Per the governor’s orders, June 12 marked the date when leagues, like Golfmoor, could take the field against real competition.
“It’s pretty good - I get to see my friends and play baseball,” 10-year-old Carter Langley said.
However, in a world still grappling with COVID-19, returning to baseball doesn’t come without its restrictions.
“Baseball is pretty easy in the game itself - you’re pretty spread out, it’s really when you’re off the field,” Coach Langley said. “We’re not using dugouts - or minimally using dugouts, for an on-deck batter and spreading kids out along the fence.
We have hand sanitizer that we’re using out of each inning, into each inning. One of the big things is the end of the game too - no high fives. We’re going to be really careful if someone hits a home run and we’re really excited, but no high fives. Those kind of things are small, but that’s what we can do in terms of our part to minimize that."
A small price to pay for being able to be among teammates once again.
“Our age group is 11-12 years old, so they kind of get it, they kind of understand,” Coach Langley said. “We made it clear - if you want to play, this is what you have to do.”
“It’s definitely weird because you have to do different things that you’re not used to and it takes some time,” 10-year-old Langley said. “At first, I was very cautious, but now it’s like a little bit more normal.”
A big weekend now lies ahead with opening day festivities.
“That’s our Christmas. That’s the day everybody looks forward to,” said Coach Langley. “When do we get to play the first game!?”
Players, coaches and fans alike - now able to fill that baseball-sized hole that’s been left in their lives.
“I’m just thankful for what they’ve done to get us here.”