Coaches say safety is key when it comes to new baseball guidelines
DELAWARE – Safety guidelines for baseball and COVID-19 were released, and they’re catching some heat on social media. Some say that the guidelines are necessary when it comes to staying healthy. “Being as a coach you always want to try to protect your player and to make that distance farther for the pitcher to throw the ball, that’s definitely going to put them in a tough spot,” said Dover High School varsity baseball coach David Gordon.
A tough spot – but not one that’s impossible to get out of. Delaware Governor John Carney says that he understands the importance of youth sports. The governor says he wants to help kids get back into the game safely. “Sports for our children is just so important. It’s the way we stay close to our children. It’s the way we enjoy their progress through life,” said Governor Carney.
Coach Gordon says that when it comes to considering getting back on the ball field, safety is key. “On social media everybody’s really taking shots with the guidelines. I think everybody needs to take a step back and relax a little bit and really look at them,” said Coach Gordon.
The guidelines include moving the home plate umpire behind the pitcher’s mound, and doing away with second base stealing. But Coach Gordon says that one of the biggest issues that could come up with these guidelines is that if the catcher can’t be six feet away from the batter, they’ll be removed completely. “If a hitter can move up in the box a little bit more, the catcher can probably stay where he normally is, but there’s no way you can play baseball without a catcher. I mean, we’ll be out there four or five hours,” said Coach Gordon. Coach Gordon says that without a catcher, it’s hard to pitch accurately and that can extend game time.
Governor Carney says that while the guidelines may change game play, the state’s top priority is keeping young athletes safe. “We all have an interest in doing this for our children, their health and vitality of the kids and the fun that they’ve been missing,” said Governor Carney.
Coach Gordon says that kids in Delaware can get brush up on their skills in an instructional league that’s being put together. To read a full list of the safety guidelines put in place for baseball and softball, you can visit this link.