When will youth sports return? It all depends where you live

Nashville recreational sports resume in Phase 3
Posted at 4:17 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 21:19:09-04

NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In a majority of Tennessee counties, major sports venues were able to reopen Friday May 22 at a reduced capacity. So does that mean your little leaguer should start warming up?

It all depends on where you live in Tennessee.

Because of COVID-19, baseball players Ryan Newell and Ethan Malinowski have been at a home field disadvantage. "Watching him just kind of mosey around the house wondering when things are going to open back up, when baseball’s going to start again," said Tim Newell, Ryan's Dad and the coach of his team the Nolensville Royals.

To ease the itch, they've been using the Hit Lab in Nolensville, an indoor batting cage and simulator that opened up about a week ago. Both boys say there's no simulation for the real thing. "I just miss all my friends that are on my team," said Malinowski.

But relief may be coming to the mound soon. In Nashville, youth recreational sports can resume once we enter Phase 3. The earliest that can happen in June 8th. Tennessee counties surrounding Nashville don't have any legal restrictions against youth sports, but a lot of the leagues have held off until they can make a run at a social distancing plan.

"We can close down concession stands, close down bathrooms, whatever we need to do," said Joey Lewis, a swing coach and owner of Hit Lab. "[We may have] to set something up where parents pull cars up and they watch from the outfield."

Keeping parents away from the stands is not an idea Ryan's dad loves, but it's a pitch he'll swing at. "At this point, it’s not about wins and losses, it’s about getting back to some sense of normalcy," said Tim.

Because if you ask Ryan, there's no 'plate' like home. "[It's] really tough, I wanna play and compete," said Ryan.