Hall County Government officials announced the next step in their phased-in reopening plan on Thursday.
"In an effort to provide recreational services to our community, staff has been working diligently on a plan to safely facilitate a modified youth fall baseball and soccer season," Assistant Hall County Administrator Zach Propes said. "Both seasons would move forward with practice over the next few weeks and games would begin the first week of September with both seasons ending no later than November 8."
Propes said safety protocols for players, coaches, officials, parents and spectators, as well as operations for Hall County park baseball facilities and the Allen Creek Soccer Complex, have been drafted and are in alignment with best practices from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Public Health and youth sports organizations.
"We have also collaborated with the Lanier Soccer Association during this process to understand their protocols and best practices," he said.
Below are a few examples of health and safety protocols that will be required as a part of the modified sport seasons:
- All practices and games will follow all local and state directives regarding the number of people allowed to gather in one place.
- Time between practices and games will be added for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Hall County Parks and Leisure will suspend all activities at any point if GHSA and/or the Hall County School District suspends, delays, and/or cancels fall sports.
- Bleachers will not be available due to social distancing practices.
- Dugouts and restrooms will be disinfected periodically.
- Game balls will be disinfected between innings.
- No food or concession sales will be available.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available with at least 60% alcohol.
A complete list of health and safety protocols that will be required can be found at ready.hallcounty.org.
The Hall County Parks Advisory Board approved the plan to resume these sports with health and safety protocols in place at their meeting Wednesday.
Anyone interested in signing up for youth baseball through Hall County Parks and Leisure can do so at www.hallcountysports.com. Youth soccer sign-ups are available at www.lsasharks.com.
"Hall County leadership is continuing to analyze this ever-changing public health issue, and, in a prudent manner, will determine how to best resume all programming in the safest way possible," Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said. "Obviously, this will be done carefully and thoughtfully in order to protect the health and welfare of our employees and the public."
Citizens are still encouraged to conduct County business remotely if possible. Many forms of business can be conducted via online conferencing platforms, email or phone. To find a list of Hall County departments and their contact information, click here.
Finally, a number of proactive steps Hall County has taken to date in regards to the coronavirus pandemic, along with a number of other helpful resources on this issue, can be found at ready.hallcounty.org.
(NOTE: The image accompanying this press release was taken before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.)