Highlands Little League is officially set to get back on the diamond as practices will commence June 1.
According to Deacon Tittel, vice president and safety officer for Highlands Little League, the league was given the OK after the announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott allowed little leagues to consider moving forward.
Opening day of games for Highlands is scheduled for June 13 at 925 East Canal Road. However, that date contradicts Abbott’s declaration of a June 15 start, but Tittel said they are looking into permission for beginning two days earlier.
There will be no parade this year, and the season would end July 25.
Baytown Little League and the Baytown Teenage Baseball Association will meet with city officials Tuesday to help determine if they can start playing on June 15.
Tittel said that the Highlands league will set a standard of expectation for social distancing and respecting the personal space and concerns of others.
“All we can do is educate,” Tittel said. “There is no enforcement. Everything is a recommendation. All we can do is educate our coaches, players, parents and patrons.
“Our goal is to offer a safe environment, but we aren’t going to be out there acting like the COVID police.”
Players who will not be returning will have until May 25 to submit an email to HLLBASEBALL1954@GMAIL.COM to request your registration refund back.
The league’s COVID-19 plan includes (as seen on the league’s Facebook page):
• Disinfecting all areas of the park on a continuous basis.
• Turning the water fountain off to avoid any cross contamination.
• Installation of social distancing signs and notes to follow all recommendations.
• Both teams’ players will space out along the outside of the fence down their respective baseline. Each player will bring their own chair to sit in. The players will place their equipment by their chair. The dugout will be used for the players who are preparing to bat, such as on deck and in the hole and also for the catcher to prepare in placing their equipment on getting ready to play defense. Parents are asked to spread out throughout the bleachers and encourage them to bring their own chairs to assist in maintaining a safe distance between one another, unless they are from the same family.
• In between innings the teams will not be allowed to huddle for a pep talk.
• No one can share a helmet or a bat. If someone shares a bat, which is common, the league will supply wipes for the coach to wipe down bat handles, if the parents of the child who owns the bat, is comfortable with sharing of the respective bat.
• When games come to an end there will be no fist bumps or high fives. Teams can line up and pass by one another at a safe distance to say good game.
• If any player is sick or not feeling well, they will not be allowed to play.
• For those players who will not be returning, parents have until May 25 to email email@example.com the reason for not returning and the request for a registration refund.
3. The league will open registration to create a waiting list to fill teams. The deadline to register is May 27. This will be first come first serve, not everyone will be assigned to a team. Only vacancies can be filled. For more information, families are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The majority of our parents are ready to play ball; we are ready to rock and roll,” Tittel said.