Youth baseball and softball is on the mind of Pennsylvania United States Senator Pat Toomey, Thursday morning. He hosted a roundtable discussion about how to safely resume action on the diamond, along with big names from the diamond; Softball Hall of Famer Jennie Finch, Major League Baseball executive Tony Reagins, Little League President and CEO Stephen Keener and World Series Champion Jimmy Rollins.
“Data is increasing showing that the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission is significantly lessened, simply by being outdoors,' said Senator Pat Toomey (R). 'The virus doesn’t do very well up against sunshine and warm temperatures.”
According to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University School of Medicine, he says kids not being active now, will only create poor lifestyle choices and health problems down the road. Dr. Bhattacharya said throughout this pandemic, to date, only 15 children have died, nation-wide, from COVID-19.
“Kids are much less likely to suffer from the negative harms of the COVID infection then adults,' said Dr. Bhattacharya. 'For reasons we don’t fully understand, From a scientific point of view, kids seem protected against the harms of COVID-19.”
Little League has been working with health officials to develop guidelines to bring baseball and softball back for youth locally, this summer. By designing appropriate safety protocols.
“When you get the green flag from your state and local health officials, saying it’s okay to start these types of activities.,' said Keener. 'Here’s the model. Here’s the program. Here’s all the best practices that we’re going to provide you so you can go out and so this as safe as possible.”
Little League wants to show it can be done, safely, by following the guidelines. They waved all affiliation fees for the 2020 season to help teams take care of their players and help with other expenses to operate.
Baseball and softball greats like Jimmy Rollins and Jennie Finch say that games aren't just sports, they are life lessons for kids.
“In sports there is no mine. It’s ours,' said Rollins. 'You have to understand how to work with others. How to get along with others. There are some people you are not going to like but how can you make it work. Those are things that I learned through sports.”
You can fine Little League safety guidelines here.