Baseball, softball parks reopen for practices in Ascension Parish

Ascension Parish reopens public ball parks, but with restrictions

DONALDSONVILLE, La. (WAFB) - Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment says all of the parish’s baseball and softball parks are now open for practice sessions only beginning Thursday, May 21.

Cointment says Governor John Bel Edwards’ Phase One reopening guidelines allow for team practices in ballparks because baseball and softball are non-contact sports.

Teams are not allowed to hold scrimmages and games at the ballparks at this time.

“After reviewing the recommendations of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal and consulting with our recreation department, I am comfortable reopening the parks for team practice, effective immediately,” Cointment says.

The fields will be open and available for free-play from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays, with leagues having priority use of the fields from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Weekend use will be free-play with the Parish of Ascension reserving the right to rent the fields to private organizations.

RELATED: Public parks in Gonzales and Ascension Parish begin phased reopening

The parish president says organizations that run youth baseball, youth softball, and adult softball are aware of the ballparks reopening and are making plans to resume organized activities.

Butch Gore Park in St. Amant
Butch Gore Park in St. Amant (Source: Ascension Parish Government)

The fields will be open and available for free-play from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays, with leagues having priority use of the fields from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Play on weekends will also be free, however, Cointment says parish officials reserve the right to rent the fields to private organizations.

Officials say individuals and organization that use the ballparks must adhere to the following guidelines:

1. No Dugouts- dugouts are off-limits; players’ equipment can safely be hung on the fencing with a minimum distance of 6 feet apart.

2. All drills should limit player lines to a maximum of 5 players, with players still maintaining 6 feet physical distance allowance. 615 E. Worthey Street, Gonzales, Louisiana 70737 Telephone (225) 450-1138 www.ascensionparish.net facebook.com/AscensionGov

3. Balls should be swapped out frequently and sanitized properly. No shared equipment beyond balls. Players should have their own glove, helmet, and bat.

4. All participants should bring sanitizer and sanitize frequently. (e.g. hands, equipment, and surroundings)

5. Bleachers are off-limits. Spectators should remain in their vehicles, drop participants off, or bring their own seating to maintain 6’ physical distance.

6. No tag-out plays are permitted. The 6’ physical distance regulation should be maintained at all times if possible.

7. Coaches and players’ physical contact should be as limited as possible. No handshakes, high fives, or hugs allowed.

8. Multiple team use per field restrictions: the next practice slot participants should not enter the field area until the previous slot participants have exited. Please adjust your practice slot to end 10 minutes earlier to exit for the next team.

9. No post-practice huddles, speeches, or talks. Please make your exit from the fields in a timely fashion.

10. Individuals should remove all trash from their areas and dispose of properly. (This should always be the practice.)

11. All participants should use extreme caution with their health. Do not allow anyone - parent, coach, or player - to participate if they have a temperature or continuous cough.

12. Face masks are strongly recommended for all.

13. Restrooms will be available but “at your own risk,” as the recreation department is not responsible for restrooms after business hours.

14. Scrimmages are strictly prohibited. Teams not adhering to this will be removed from their practice slot.

Cointment says more field and park openings will be announced whenever the state moves into the governor’s Phase Two of reopening.

For more information and guidelines on safely reopening, click here.

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