Talk about a rain delay. The Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department
has a new starting date for its baseball and softball programs.
Originally scheduled for March 16, Opening Day will be June 15 due to the
Enterprise Parks and Recreation Director Billy Powell said Gov. Ivey’s
order last Thursday cleared the way for the season to begin. Of course, there
are precautions that must be taken.
“Once we heard from the Governor and the Alabama Department of Public
Health, we sent out some protocols to our coaches and parents,” Powell said
Tuesday. “They can start practicing. You can practice, have conditioning,
training and skill drills, but no games or practice games until June 15.
“Primarily, we’re talking about baseball, softball, even volleyball. Those are
some of the athletic activities they can start practicing right now.”
Social distancing measure remain in effect. Included in the protocols sent
out by EPRD, “Players, coaches, officials and spectators shall not
congregate within six feet of a person from another household except to the
extent necessary — and only to the extent necessary — for players, coaches
and official to directly participate in the athletic activity.”
High fives, handshakes and other “unnecessary” physical contact are not
Another key area for participants includes facial coverings. From the letter:
“Players, coaches and officials shall wear a mask or other facial covering
that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times except when a player or
official is directing participating.”
The Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department interprets this to mean that
if a player, coach or official is on the field or court directly participating, no
mask is required.
Finally, sanitation is another key protocol. Water coolers, drinking stations,
water bottles, cups or other drinking devices will not be allowed.
Organizers of athletic activities shall take “reasonable steps,” where
practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.
“The EPRD interprets this to mean that if athletic practices activities occur,
the head coach or lead coach will be responsible to take those steps. For
games, Parks and Rec will provide sanitizer stations for use,” the protocol
In the stands, social distancing also will be encouraged.
“If you’re a non-family member you try to keep six feet distance,” Powell
said. “Use your head. It’s individual responsibilities. Continue washing your
hands, continue sanitizing. Try not to touch your face or mouth, but that’s a
habit everybody has.”
Powell and assistant director Blake Moore are communicating with coaches
“There’s mixed feelings with this,” Powell said. “People want to play; other
people want to play but don’t want to take the risk. We respect all of it. We
want to make sure we’re safe in protecting ourselves and protecting others
as much as possible.”
Parks and Rec departments through Alabama have been holding Zoom
meetings, communicating all spring.
“Everyone’s in the same boat. ‘What are we going to do?’” Powell said.
“Even today, Dan Smith in Troy and I were talking. We’ll handle it case-bycase
and do the best we can. Let the kids try to enjoy it and try to keep them
So the wait is nearly over.
“We’ve been holding on. It came out March 16. March 16 actually was
going to be our first day opening the season,” Powell said. “We were already
organized, the uniforms had already been passed out, teams had already
Youth Baseball and Softball: Beginning June 15 and the season is
projected to end July 31 at the latest. Games will be played Mondays,
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Adult and Youth Church Softball: Beginning June 16. Games will be
played Tuesday’s and Thursdays.
Travel Ball/Field Reservations: Reservations are being taken for
Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays only. Roster, insurance and field
request applications must be turned into the EPRD athletic office before
Volleyball: EPRD sand volleyball court opened Tuesday afternoon. No
Soccer: EPRD soccer fields are open for casual use. No organized games
until June 15.
Kickball: Will resumes games Monday, June 15.
Playgrounds: Have opened.