Adult recreational softball leagues get green light

Coronavirus New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller held a briefing on Tuesday, April 13 to provide an update on the City of Albuquerque’s COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution. Keller was joined by Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation David Flores to provide information on adult recreational sports leagues.

The City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department has announced the reopening of Recreational Softball Leagues for the 2021 season. According to the City, the season is scheduled to start on June 6 but teams that are interested in taking part can register in person at the Jerry Cline Recreation and Tennis Center on Monday, April 19 at 9 a.m.

Registration will be open until Thursday, May 13 at 5 p.m. or until a division fills up as space is limited. Registration forms can also be downloaded online.

According to the City of Albuquerque, this season the number of teams will be limited for COVID-19 safe practices, but also as renovations are planned at Los Altos Park which will result in season-long closures of four softball fields. Teams and spectators that will participate in the 2021 summer season are expected to follow and enforce COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, limiting gatherings before and after games, and self-reporting positive COVID-19 cases.

The city’s Parks and Rec Department says tailgating is strongly discouraged. As of now, the number of spectators is limited to the yellow level restrictions which are 33% capacity. Mayor Keller pointed out 47% of people in Albuquerque have at least one COVID vaccine shot and 28% are fully vaccinated. He believes the vaccine is the county’s “ticket to turquoise” and thinks more re-openings could happen in a few weeks.

“I do believe, hopefully, that early May we’ll be able to go to green, that’s based on everyone getting vaccinated most of all. It’s also based on continuing to follow the public health order but I’ll tell you we will see. We’re stuck in yellow right now,” Keller said.

The City of Albuquerque lists the following additional precautions:

  • Reduction in the number of scheduled softball games at each softball complex & field
  • Teams, league organizers, and tournament directors are responsible to ensure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for player & spectator use
  • Parking lot tailgating are discouraged.
  • Teams are required to disinfect high-touch areas (bleachers, dugouts, team equipment).
  • Games are scheduled with 30-45 minutes of “transition time” – allowing for disinfection.
  • Teams are encouraged to vacate the softball field and parking lot as quickly as possible at the end of the game – within the allotted transition time.
  • Leagues are required to provide additional portable toilet and hand sanitation facilities. 
  • Teams are required to provide disinfection supplies and hand sanitizer product.
  • Coolers are not allowed in the dugouts.  Players must provide their own water bottles.
  • A positive COVID-19 test result for a team player will result in a team suspension of play for the current CDC-recommended quarantine period.
  • Food trucks and on-site vending will not be allowed. 
  • On-site registration will not be allowed.
  • Chewing tobacco, bubblegum, & sunflower seed use is discouraged.

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