Local teams participate in Memorial Weekend tournament amid COVID-19 pandemic
JOPLIN, Mo. – Local athletes knocked off some of that rust and play ball for the first time in months, here, in the Four-States. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented adversity in the world of sports. Joplin head baseball coach Kyle Wolf says his guys really responded to the challenge of social distancing with the thought of others in mind.
“Even from the start of all of this, one of the things that we talked about really early is that we have a responsibility, you know, that is greater than ourselves. And we’re not just doing the social distancing and following those guidelines for ourselves. We’re doing it for all of our loved ones, our community and really the world as a whole,” adds Wolf.
As sports start to make a comeback amid the pandemic, one challenge that teams face is to show support to one another when social distancing.
“We were doing air-fives, but you know, there’s times in the midst of a baseball game it’s just really difficult because it’s natural,” says Wolf.
Mid-America Baseball is doing its job to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators. Dugouts and stadium seats are emptied and sprayed down with disinfectant in between games.
“Unfortunately, I think this is getting to be somewhat of a normal way for people and they’re adjusting to it pretty well,” says tournament director Mike Greninger.
There were not huge expectations to go out and win, but being able to come together gave teams a new perspective after springs seasons were cut short.
“We appreciated the opportunity to be with our teammates. I think we appreciated the opportunity to come out and compete and play the game that we love,” adds Wolf.