Sports complexes now open in Jonesboro

Youth sports teams return to practice at Joe Mack Campbell Park

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Mayor Harold Perrin allows city sports complexes to reopen for practice.

Workouts were washed out Tuesday at the Southside Softball Complex and Joe Mack Campbell Park. But better weather allowed for teams to practice Wednesday evening.

The stands though are empty. Parents, guardians, and siblings have to stay in their car throughout practice. Parks & Recreation Director Danny Kapales describes more precautions that are in place.

“We want to be careful,” he adds. “We want to make sure the kids are doing what they’re supposed to do, and have social distancing. We’re going to have the dugouts shutdown and the bleachers shutdown. That way they’re out on the field, and we’re keeping those touchpoints from being messed with. And I know it’s a little bit frustrating for the parents and siblings to have to stay in the parking lot in their cars. But that just helps keep the numbers down on the field, that way they can stay out there and practice.”

Governor Hutchinson said that a decision will be made on Wednesday, May 20th on how youth sports might move forward.

“The reward-risk factor is something that the mayor decided along with the Parks Director, Danny Kapales, they decided that because other cities have already started doing this and because local teams competing in different states right now, that it’s a good idea to let the kids have a little fun,” Director of Communications Bill Campbell says.

He says officials will reevaluate the situation as the pandemic continues.

“Everyone is feeling their way through this and trying to do the best they can do using the advice of the experts,” he says.

Teams and coaches must use distancing measures, keep players out of the dugouts, and parents aren’t allowed to watch practice from the bleachers.

Campbell says everyone has the option to practice or not to practice.

“Everything is subject to change as this virus changes. What we call a green light today, might be a red-light tomorrow,” he says.

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