The Parsons Babe Ruth League has canceled its tryouts as a result of restrictions imposed by the new Phase 1.5 of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to reopen the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly announced that she was slowing her initial four-phase plan due to the continued spread and presence of the coronavirus.

“We’re talking about not having a skills assessment, getting the coaches together and having a draft because we’re losing time,” said Parsons Babe Ruth League President John Rexwinkle. “If we have the skills assessment on June 1, that pushes the season back another week.” 

Rexwinkle said league staff will still go to Winway Park for open registrations as well as to answer any questions participants may have about measures the league will take to ensure safety amid the pandemic.

Kelly’s current timeline of her plan bans sports practices until at least June 1. 

Rexwinkle said that the league, which is also incorporating Labette County Babe Ruth League players after that league canceled its season, is experiencing low registration numbers.

“So far, our registrations are below average by about half,” Rexwinkle said. “There’s a fair amount of kids that register on-site at the skills assessment. That’s why we’re going to Winway on Monday to have registration. We’ll be there to answer questions, give them all the information and hopefully provide some clarity.

“Right now, we don’t have enough registrations to have three teams per league. That’s the number we’re looking to get. Traditionally we’ve had five-to-six teams.” 

While the delay in start date has put a wrench into the Parsons Babe Ruth League’s plans for now, Rexwinkle still intends to try and hold a baseball season this summer for area youth.

“We’re motivated to have some sort of season,” Rexwinkle said. “It’ll look different from the amount of games, the time they start in the year and all the stuff that goes on during the games. It’s all going to be different this year. But our goal is to give the kids something to look forward to.” 

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