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Gov. Justice hopeful to have youth sports this summer in W.Va.

Coaches are hoping to use the Milton Little League field by this Summer.
Coaches are hoping to use the Milton Little League field by this Summer.(WSAZ)
Published: May. 6, 2020 at 12:10 AM EDT
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Typically during this time of year bleachers would be full and bases loaded.

"If there is a way that we can get back to playing little league baseball this summer, I want to get back to playing Little League Baseball," said Gov. Jim Justice during a news conference Tuesday. "If we can get back to playing youth sports, I want to do it."

Justice said he received many calls about youth sports. He said, as it looks now, he is hopeful to kick start them around June 1.

"With the governor kind of giving us a date, things are starting to move to where we’re thinking about what we can do to keep the parents, kids, coaches safe," said Scott Ballou, a Milton Little League coach and dad.

Ballou said while nothing is definite yet, he is still thinking of ways to keep social distancing between his players when they get the OK to play.

"You know, maybe distancing the kids when they come off the field, maybe go to their parents instead of the dugout where everybody is grouped up, so those are some things that we really need to start thinking about," Ballou said.

He also said he may suggest to grandparents or those with underlying conditions to FaceTime for the games rather than being there in person.

"Trying to space them out in the dugouts, trying to space them out on the field. Limit contact as much as possible. It will look different," said Clarence Nicely, another Little League coach and dad.

Both Nicely and Ballou said they are also preparing to potentially not have as many kids on their roster this year.

"I think there will be some kids and families that do not come back out and play, just to be extra safe, and there’s no hard feelings towards that, we respect that," Nicely said.

While Justice admits that final dates are difficult to commit to during this pandemic, he is optimistic about June 1 for youth sports.

"That would be a date that we could still get in some summer activities and everything, and it would be great to see them out on the field, so let’s hope we can do it," the governor said.