As restrictions relax, will sport tournaments resume at city parks?

Charles Dunlap
Boonville Daily News

Two baseball tournaments, three soccer tournaments and an adult volleyball tournament tentatively are scheduled this summer at Boonville city parks. The question now is will they happen?

The Boonville City Council worked to answer that question Monday. Restrictions were in place on field usage due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some restrictions have relaxed with further loosening planned June 30, City Administrator Kate Fjell said. This includes temperature and attendance requirements for practices.

“The question broadly is whether or not you want to allow tournaments to being in July,” she said. “There are four options.”

The council had to decide whether to not hold tournaments, to hold them but organizers would have to share safety plans with the city, holding them without restrictions or where athletes would need to sign liability waivers.

“That is generally what I see. I am asking the council with how you want to proceed,” Fjell said.

Council members generally were in favor of holding tournaments and ultimately approved city staff to move forward, but each liked aspects of the four different options. A majority were in favor of either requiring social distancing and encouraging mask usage, while others were in favor of athlete waivers.

The big concern was over tournament participants from areas that may have a higher concentration of COVID-19 than Cooper County. A sign-in sheet for all guests was suggested to help with contact tracing, while another suggested tournament organizers track what teams are playing at specific times to aid contact tracing. Council members were more in favor of tournament organizers setting entrance rules and logs in case COVID-19 is traced back to a tournament.

The city could post signs about social distancing, playground equipment and encouraging mask usage, Fjell said.

“So, [we will have] tournaments with posted guidelines and player waivers,” she said. “We will make up some bigger placards that will put some general guidelines at the parks and let people know we are moving forward with the tournaments and they should use their good common sense.”