VIRGINIA — The City of Virginia will move forward with its summer softball season, according to City Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Silber.
Silber says the decision to hold softball this summer came after new orders and guidelines from Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health last week in regards to COVID-19. Silber also says he and the city need to remain flexible if things change for the better or worse.
“We’ve done our due diligence and have every intent to follow what the governor, the CDC and Department of Health have set out for us,” Silber said Thursday in a telephone interview. “We’ve decided that we should make the summer softball program available following their recommendations. What we’re putting into place today will more than likely change throughout our season and we hope it changes for the better.”
Currently, all youth sports teams may only participate in practices that use groups of 10 people or left. Teams are not able to compete in games until the current guidelines move to the next phase.
“Right now, all we can do is practice. That’s a lot better than not being able to be out there on the field at all. It will give our kids and community something to do. We’ve all been craving for something to do.”
For girls ages 8-18, the Virginia summer softball program will not have a registration fee at this time due to being only limited to practice at the moment. Should games be allowed, small fees will likely be set, according to Silber. Silber also says he hopes the removal of the fees for now encourages more girls to come out and join.
“I think this is an excellent opportunity for someone who’s never played softball or any organized sport to come and try it out. Since we won’t have any fees until games start, it feels like the perfect time. Why not use this as an opportunity to reach out and try something new?”
In the interest of public health and safety, the City of Virginia will ask all participants to bring their own equipment including gloves, bats and helmets. In addition, Silber says participants and their families can reach out if they need help in finding equipment of their own.
“Yes, we can clean off and wipe down everything we use between each person,” Silber said. “But right now, it just makes the most sense for everyone to have their own equipment and not have to share with other people.”
Silber says those interested in registering for youth softball can do so online at www.virginiamn.recdesk.com. The city will also be offering summer ice at the Miners Memorial Building and youth baseball will also be starting soon at all levels if it hasn’t started yet. Ultimately, flexibility will be key to providing residents relief when it comes to sports.
“We have to be flexible with everything we do. That means staying up to date on cleaning protocols and social distancing protocols. We will change and adapt with the guidelines as they come out. Our primary focus is keeping everyone safe and we want to provide opportunities to as many people as possible when it comes to summer sports.”