Hastings Adult League softball returns June 18 with new DHMs
Adult league softball has been a spring and summer staple in Hastings. The Bill Smith Softball Complex has always been full of players every weekend.
That hasn't been the case this year. The spring season was cancelled due to COVID-19, and while it's getting off to a late start this summer, they will play ball.
Starting June 18 the Hasting Parks and Recreation will get the summer league season underway, thanks to the new DHM's put in place by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.
"They're definitely looking forward to a summer season, so we're gonna try our best. Luckily with the Governor's directed health measure we're able to have some what of a season," said Hastings Recreation Superintendent Ryan Martin. "Not a full season like we normally have, but we're excited to have a season. It will be a little bit of a different change. It won't be the norm, but we're trying to make it as normal as possible with the changes."
To practice social distancing they will be extending the dugouts to the bleachers. Any fans that come to the games will have to bring their own chairs and sit along the foul lines or in the outfield.
They are asking team captains and coaches to make sure the teams sanitize the dugouts after their games. Then, they will come in and sanitize them again.
"Once they clear out the dugouts, we will have a supervisor on hand that will spray down the bench and whatever we might determine what people are usually grabbing," said Martin. "Maybe there might be a certain fence or pole in the dugout they might grab, probably the bats handles where you can put your bats on and hang them on the fence, just any areas we feel they may be touching."
Martin says you never think about how much physical contact there is in sports until something like this happens. Which is forcing them to make several other changes as well.
"They can't shake hands, so they gotta just yell across the field to each other, 'Hey good game,' and leave the field immediately. There can't be any social gatherings after the games, so we have to clear everybody out and then wait a little bit longer to sanitize everything, then bring the next teams in," said Martin. "So normally we actually play three games a night, but we're gonna limit that to two games a night."
During the summer, teams from around the country make their way to the Smith Softball Complex to play in big tournaments. Those tournaments aren't scheduled to start until August, but they should give the city a nice shot in the arm.
"It's really important to Hastings because it brings people to town, and it helps out the restaurants and the gas stations. It just helps out the local economy so it's really important to have it here, and it's also important for everyone to be active."
For more information on the summer leagues you can visit the City of Hastings