CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With about one week to go, some Camillus little leaguers might not be able to finish their season. The fields at Shove Park have been closed and many parents feel they should be able to finish the last few games, but it turns out, the decision was weeks in the making.
Team parents say it was a scramble to find fields for the 12-year-old little leaguers to play their semi-final and championship games. The younger ones, ages nine and ten, may strikeout.
“It’s not the whole entire park being shut down it’s just, we feel, targeting the baseball and softball players,” said a little league parent who does not want to be identified.
The director of Camillus Parks and Recreation, Eric Bacon, says it started the first week of July when he asked the softball and baseball association to create a plan so they could safely get back on the diamond. “It actually was a pretty solid plan, they did a nice job with it,” he said.
When he watched a few games, he saw some that didn’t comply with those regulations. “Lack of masks, lack of social distancing, stands, spectators, close together,” said Bacon.
Bacon talked to the president of the association and says he took it seriously, but a week later they got the first of three complaints made to the county about social distancing.
“The parents, some of them said they were doing things to conform, but there obviously were people that weren’t and we had to look at it collectively,” said Bacon.
Other teams from surrounding towns have reached out to help the 12-year-old little leaguers play on their fields, but parents say it’s more traveling and the younger kids may not play their championship games.
One parent, who doesn’t want to be identified, told NewsChannel 9 it seems unfair since the rest of the park is open to walkers and joggers.
“I know it’s really hard to regulate everything, but if you’re gonna have people on the playground and you’re gonna have a pavilion open, and the general public can go in there, why is just youth sports, one sport, in particular, being targeted,” she asked.
“They aren’t supervised activities. We don’t have park rangers to oversee that, where the baseball organization has specific rules with volunteers, coaches, in place to see that those rules are followed and that is the difference between the two,” said Bacon.
Parents say a travel team that’s set to begin soon will now have to travel to play all 10 games and fear some families won’t be able to make the drive.
Bacon says at this point, the town supervisor has indicated it’s too risky to reopen the fields.
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