GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Let the games begin! That’s the word from New York state.
Certain organized youth sports can resume in some regions on July 6, and not soon enough for some.
Across Long Island, playgrounds are open and there was a will and a way to open them safely.
Meanwhile, sports fields are empty, except for family catches and socially distanced instruction. When will organized youth sports resume? That is the question on everyone’s mind right now.
“The governor is allowing large protests and other activities, but we’re not allowing one of the safest activities, kids sports,” Kevin Hegarty, Garden City Tradition lacrosse coach, told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff recently.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo answered the question in his press conference on Monday.
“We are also opening low risk youth sports in Phase 3,” said Cuomo.
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Baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country and crew are green lit for July 6 in regions that progress to Phase 3. Two spectators will be allowed per child, but that has coaches in other sports insisting they, too, can play safely.
“Lacrosse is not the list, but yet field hockey is on the list,” said Hegarty. “Show me the science that says field hockey is safer than girls lacrosse.”
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin is asking Gov. Cuomo to rethink which sports are allowed to return and let everyone play ball now.
“The coaches are ready to do this in a proper manner, with the safeguards necessary of hand sanitizer, scanners,” said Clavin. “They want to do the right protocols and we should give them the ability. But most importantly, we should give should give our kids the ability to enjoy themselves again.”
Garden City athletes and parents are hopeful they’ll get to return to the field soon.
“I’m glad that we get this opportunity,” said Kyle Flynn, a high school baseball player. “A lot of people have it worse right now.”
“I do think it’s time. I think it should have been done earlier,” said Lynn Giudice, a Long Island mother.
“What we have been doing locally has been working,” said Jack Flynn, a Long Island father. “People have been doing the right thing for the most part and a couple of weeks at this point, I’d rather do it right and not have to go back.”
July 6 isn’t a home run for everyone, but Nassau Executive Laura Curran said she’ll take it.
“Kids who have been cooped up a long time, they need to get out. It’s good for their social development, their muscular development, their mental development.”
With camps allowed to open on June 29 and team sports waiting until July 6, does that mean kids at camp can only play certain sports? Coaches and camps are awaiting clearer state guidelines.