WAUKESHA COUNTY — The coronavirus pandemic has delayed Major League Baseball’s season, but youth leagues across the country are starting play, including in Waukesha County.
Youth teams from across the Midwest traveled to the area for the 5 Diamonds Kick-Off Tournament, one month after it was scheduled to take place.
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Cheers and claps echoed across the ballpark at Infinity Fields for the first time this year, as families gathered around the outfields to watch the kids play.
With no lockdown restrictions in Waukesha County, Infinity Fields Owner Tom Kelenic decided to move ahead with the youth baseball tournament. He first sent out an email to coaches for advice.
“What was important for them to continue to stay in the tournament,” Kelenic said.
They then took their responses and made several changes to the space and gameplay to increase social distancing.
Kelenic said they removed the bleachers, designated areas for players and spectators, tripled the size of the dugouts, and provided each team with their own baseballs.
On top of this, throughout the season, staff will be constantly disinfecting and hand sanitizer is readily available.
“It’s not the most convenient, but at the end of the day it’s probably the most safe for everybody,” Kelenic said.
JoAnn Leary of Sussex said she came to watch her grandson. She said she was comfortable there because of the precautions.
“I don’t mind being here, but I don’t mind being way back there. I brought binoculars,” Leary said.
Wayne Basley of Union Grove also came to watch his grandson. He felt the same, but was worried at first.
“Concerned about the kids a little bit because they do get close,” Basley said.
While they look forward to getting out more, they’re also crossing their fingers that we don’t go backwards.
“I hope we’re not a statistic two weeks from now,” Leary said. “But you know I think we’re doing okay.”
Officials at Infinity Fields said they encourage everyone to wear masks, but they’re not requiring it.