Getting kids back on the field: News 12 speaks with NJ State Little League director on plan

Athletes across New Jersey were given some good news Friday when Gov. Phil Murphy announced that non-contact organized sports can restart later this month – but there's still a lot to be done before we can play ball.

News 12 Staff

Jun 3, 2020, 10:39 AM

Updated 1,413 days ago

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Athletes across New Jersey were given some good news Friday when Gov. Phil Murphy announced that non-contact organized sports can restart later this month – but there's still a lot to be done before we can play ball.
Organized sports will be able to start on June 22, and was welcomed news for leagues, coaches, parents and players.
But for New Jersey State Little League Director Carmine Conti, with coronavirus still around, getting kids back on the field is easier said than done.
“Little League has put together a lot of its own resources,” says Conti. “How we should be conducting practices? How the kids should be in the field? Where the umpire needs to stand? How often are we changing the baseballs out? How often are we wiping the equipment down?”
Conti says he'll work with the New Jersey Baseball Coalition over the next two weeks to figure out if those Little League standards line up with what the governor's office will allow.
“Some of the guidelines that we've already seen say no more than 25 people gathering and no more than five kids in the dugout,” says Conti. “So, those are the issues that still need to be worked out.”
With nearly 40,000 kids across the state to worry about, Conti says another issue they're working on is what to do about players that usually share equipment.
“We have suburbs, we have inner cities, so the inner-city leagues that don't have their own bat -- that's going to be a struggle,” says Conti.
While there is a lot of work to be done until June 22, Conti says he's confident, and even plans to have sectional and state tournaments for Little League and senior baseball and softball in September.
“From a state level, from the tournament side, once we have the games rolling, then we can pick a definitive date in September on when we are going to have it and also pick a final location for that,” says Conti.
Conti says he has calls set up with the governor’s office to figure out a definitive plan within the next two weeks.


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