Minnesota Softball/USA Softball Minnesota, Gopher State/MYAS, MBL/MBT announced Monday an update to its collaborative “Back to the Diamond” initiative that outlines a plan for youth baseball and softball to return to play.
The groups are working with Gov. Tim Walz’s task force to provide a safe and healthy way to return to the field.
The updated provided a timeline of events.
May 11 -- Statewide communication to baseball and softball associations with guidelines and requirements.
May 18 -- Begin baseball and softball practices with no more than 16 people on the field, including coaches and players.
June 1 -- League games with spectator traffic and distancing guidelines in effect and managed. Possible trial events to be held the weekend of May 29-31 with tentative tournament start dates on June 5-7.
The group expects to hear word from the governor’s office this week to help determine what changes are needed for the plan.
The group is also communicating with Wisconsin Sports Services for a collaborative effort to communicate with government officials.
Minnesota Softball, in a Facebook post, also addressed a question about Minnesota teams playing in South Dakota, if play is permitted there. Minnesota Softball said Minnesota teams could play in South Dakota provided teams met South Dakota’s requirements to play.
Additionally, a consortium of youth sports organizations across the country have joined the PLAY Sports Coalition.
The PLAY Sports Coalition is asking Congress for support in the form of $8.5 billion in funding to help stabilize youth sports across the country. The PLAY Sports Coalition also has strategies to support families and a plan to return to play. The PLAY Sports Coalition website states nearly 60 percent of locals sports leaders expect to lose at least 50 percent of revenue over the next year, according to a poll by the Aspen Institute for Sports.
The organization has also sent letters to congressional leaders to urge support.