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City cancels basketball, soccer

McMinnville Parks and Recreation's statement on fall/winter sports.

Youth basketball and soccer won’t be available this fall and winter.

McMinnville Parks and Recreation announced on its Facebook page this morning that soccer and basketball leagues will not be held this year. Athletic Director Terry Beard said the decision was made after lengthy discussions with the city mayor and city administrator.

“We all met and everybody seemed to agree,” said Beard. “When they allowed the contact sports, they wanted them to play with non-contact sports guidelines. With basketball, it’s hard to social distance on the court and indoors. For our soccer leagues, the majority of the league in the U-7 division and everybody chases the ball at that age.”

Basketball registration usually begins by late August, but officials held off until a decision could be made on if the leagues would continue this year. By Wednesday morning, city officials felt they couldn’t move forward.

“With the numbers rising, we don’t feel like we can safely do it. We’ll wait and see what happens going forward, but as of right now, it doesn’t look like we will be able to do anything,” said Beard.

The city is currently overseeing the youth baseball and softball leagues. Beard credits the ability to play outdoors – and the nature of the sports – for the ability to play baseball and softball.

“The savior for baseball and softball was the ability to socially distance on the field and in the stands,” said Beard. “We aren’t using the dugouts. Nobody is piled up in the bleachers. People are doing really well with spacing out – most of our fans bring their own chairs and sit in their family groups.”

School basketball teams have already started practicing. The preseason Morrison Ruritan tournament is tentatively slated for late September.

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