City to issue permits to some outdoor youth sports leagues for fall seasons

Pier 40 is a field of dreams for young soccer players, as well as baseball players. Local youth sports leagues, like Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club, will defend the pier’s sprawling ball fields during the planning process for the pier’s development, making sure that athletic uses are not compromised. Photo courtesy The Villager.

By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Some outdoor youth sports leagues will be allowed to return to the field beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15, Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed on Friday.

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer broke the news during his weekly ‘Ask the Mayor’ segment shortly after pressing de Blasio on school reopening details. Now, youth baseball, softball, soccer, flag football, non-contact lacrosse and cricket teams can request permits from the Parks Department to play outdoors, de Blasio said.

In order to abide by state health guidelines, all coaches, spectators, leagues and sideline players must wear masks at all times. Players are also encouraged to wear masks while playing if possible, according to City Hall. Players must maintain social distance while not in active gameplay and spectators are limited to two per player. Those watching games must immediately leave the field postgame, according to the Parks Department.

Permits will be revoked if a league accumulates three health violations, de Blasio said, and permits will be suspended for all sports if the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests exceeds 3%.

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