There will be youth baseball on Bowling Green’s Carter Park fields.
The board of directors for Carter Park finalized the starting of the season on Sunday.
“This can be a little overwhelming with everything that we are doing and how much work this is taking,” said Tim Dunn, the longtime president of the board. “The board just feels that we are absolutely doing this for the kids.”
Dunn said at one point the easy way would be to close down the park for the 2020 season, due to coronavirus concerns, but that changed.
“We were getting so many emails from coaches and parents saying ‘can you give us some kind of season, can you do something?’” Dunn said. “We decided to work at it. We are going to jump through all the hoops and we are going to provide a two-month window of a baseball season.”
The board finalized the proceeds and protocols to open the facility and they will be posted on the web site.
There is also a four-page document that will be provided to Mike Aspacher, Bowling Green mayor, and Ben Batey, Wood County health commissioner, concerning the venue, spectators, coaches and players.
“We can’t catch everything, but we think we have done a pretty thorough job on how to maintain the facility and keep people as safe as possible,” Dunn said. “This is going to be a different year for us.
“We are asking parents, spectators and people just to be cordial, patient and understanding with what we are trying to do,” Dunn added.
There will be no T-ball this year for children ages 4 to 6. There will be six teams in the Rookie Division, ages 6 to 8; five or six teams in Pee Wee Division, ages 9-10; two teams in the Junior League, ages 11-12; and either one or two teams in the Senior League, ages 13-15.
There are six BG Junior Diamond Cat travel teams, ages 10 to 14. There is also a BG Blast program, ages 9 to 10, for kids out of the house program, who will travel on the weekends to tournaments. There is also an 8-year-old BG Blast team.
The house teams will start on June 29, allowing the teams an opportunity to practice and put together their uniforms, and finish about Aug. 10. The teams will be put together on Sunday.
The travel Junior Bobcat program will start play on June 8 and finish around the first week of August.
Any players from other communities in Wood County that have closed down their summer teams can register starting Tuesday and ending Friday at noon to play at Carter Park this summer.
“The parents and players that want to sign up can do so by going to bgbaseball.com. They can register and pay the registration fee online,” Dunn said about other communities. “We will accept those kids, ages 7 to 15, and get them on teams on Sunday night and off we will go.”
There is a three-page legal document before play starts for all Bowling Green house parents, Bowling Green travel parents and BG Blast parents to sign. Tournament teams will also need to fill out the document.
Carter Park will also be holding tournaments starting Saturday and continuing through the middle of August. Tournament travel teams will also need to fill out the document in order to play at Carter Park.
On the field for house teams there will be one umpire behind the pitcher’s mound in ages 9 to 12, calling balls, strikes and outs. For the 13-14 divisions there will be two umpires, one on the field and one who will be an extended distance behind the catcher.
There will be no scoreboards used for regular season and tournament play.
Offensively there will be a batter, one player on the deck circle and three players, sitting 6 feet apart, and one coach in the dugout. The other players will be sitting in the stands with the other coaches. The players will rotate from the stands onto the field.
“This is not a big deal about wins and losses,” Dunn said. “This is about kids playing, giving them a season, getting them out of the house and getting them back with their friends as much as possible.”
As for adult seating, there will be none in the stands or by the fences on diamonds one, two and three. There will be seating past first and third bases going down left and right field on the outside of the fence. There will also be seating available behind the home run fences.
“There are going to adjust a little bit about seating, bringing chairs going down the lines,” Dunn said about the spectators.
The concession stand will be open and the workers will have gloves and masks. The counters will be sprayed down every two hours. Fans will order at one window and pay at a different window. There will also be spray downs for the restrooms.
“This is really hard to do,” Dunn said about putting together things in Carter Park. “I hope that people will continue to have a good heart with my board and what we are trying to do with the volunteer coaches. We are trying to provide a program (for kids and families) that are cooped up in the house through a tough pandemic.
“We are trying to offer a fair program and being smart and letting kids still getting a little bit of their summer before school starts and move on from there.”
As for the adult softball diamonds at Carter Park, the teams from last season have been notified and registration for the program ends June 6. The teams could be coed or men’s and if there are enough teams and interest the games will start in mid to late June.
Registration can be made with Dunn or Todd McGee, the manager of Best Western Plaza.