Members of the Williston Keybirds run laps along the warning track at Ardean Aafedt Stadium during their first practice of the season on Tuesday, May 19.

Although American Legion baseball will not be played this year, Williston Parks and Recreation plans to hold summer travel baseball and softball for players between the ages 9-18 as scheduled.

According to willistonparks.com, the Williston Keybirds baseball club, comprised of players between 16-18 years old, will host the Miles City Outlaws in the season opener on June 3. As for the Williston Oilers 15’s baseball team, they are slated to appear in a road contest against Watford City on June 4.

Meanwhile, Williston Boom fastpitch softball schedules for girls between 9-18 years old will be released at a later date according to parks and recreation district superintendent Joe Barsh. With the absence of American Legion baseball this summer, Barsh states that all Williston youth clubs will operate under the Babe Ruth League umbrella for the 2020 campaign.

Nonetheless, North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines remain unchanged, stating to discontinue group sports where more than 10 participants are playing at the same time, including participants on the bench or on shifts, until such time social distancing recommendations are suspended.

Despite this, a May 4 message on westfargobaseball.com indicated West Fargo Youth Baseball has tentative plans to hold their first practice on Monday, May 25. As a result, the parks and recreation superintendent says he has been encouraged by other baseball related activities resuming within the state.

“We feel that with things opening up a little bit now, it would be a good time to get things started again and get back out on the field,” Barsh tells the Williston Herald. “I know the kids are going to be excited for sure.”

Regarding social distancing precautions for both players and fans, Barsh adds that there will be comprehensive guidelines available on willistonparks.com at a later date. Future information for the summer baseball season will also be made available on the Williston Parks Facebook page.

“We have some more meetings scheduled where we will iron out those details. “Guidelines for the dugout area, fan seating, concession areas, and travel arrangements to and from games will all be discussed,” he continues. “We will evaluate everything on a team-by-team basis, and of course, we want everyone to enjoy themselves while also respecting the social distancing precautions as well.”

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