Most recreation departments in the Charleston area expect to move forward with summer sports programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic while taking measured steps to avoid spreading the virus.
City and town officials across the Lowcountry say they plan to play their basketball and baseball seasons, along with other summer sports. But they’ll be monitoring the coronavirus and following guidelines from the CDC and the state health department.
Laurie Yarbrough, the recreation director for Charleston, said the city will be offering outdoor sports camps for kids in June, unless the CDC says otherwise.
She said while they don’t typically offer organized summer sports through the recreation department, they’re looking into clinics so they can better control the numbers at their public facilities.
“We feel we can socially distance and successfully offer outdoor camps,” Yarbrough said. “We’re also doing some camps that take place inside some facilities and using safety guidelines for those as well.”
Yarbrough noted that the CDC is expected to release an updated list of guidelines in the coming days, so the city's schedule remains fluid.
North Charleston will be following the same plan, according to Doyle Best, the recreation director for the city. Summer programming as a whole is expected to commence at some point, with reductions to the total number of participants and activities.
North Charleston’s Summer Basketball League is currently postponed with no firm date yet in place.
“We look to make a final decision on both programs in the coming weeks,” Best said. “While we are hopeful that we can offer quality programs for our residents this summer, we will only do so if certain restrictions are lifted and we feel that it is safe for our participants and staff.”
Here’s how other recreation departments are tentatively handling summer sports and activities:
- Mount Pleasant will hold registration for summer basketball on Friday and t-ball and preseason football registration on May 29. Track registration is slated for June 12. Town officials will inform the public of any changes. If need be, they’ll cancel programs three weeks before the start of camp.
- Goose Creek currently has its summer basketball season on hold, but hopes to have an abbreviated season that starts after July 4. The city is not offering any other summer sports.
- Summerville still expects to move forward with its summer sports, but has not determined start dates. The same goes for the town's summer camps. Officials expect to have more information in the next couple of weeks.
- Moncks Corner announced earlier this month that its spring sports were officially canceled, but the town hopes to offer camps and athletics later this summer.
- Hanahan expects to kick off summer sports in mid-June and said it should have more details next week.