HOUMA, La. – As the country continues to make its COVID-19 comeback, youth baseball and softball are back up and running in some parts of the state.
The Louisiana Wahoo Travel Ball Organization is based out of Houma.
It was founded in 2012 by Ron Pitre and several parents who wanted to see their kids play competitive ball.
The Louisiana Wahoo teams have not been able to practice or play for months because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
So, when the opportunity to play this past weekend presented itself, they swung at it.
The 8U girl’s softball team played at Traction Sports in Baton Rouge, the 8U boy’s baseball team in the Acadiana area and the 12U softball team played at Colyell Park in Livingston
What felt like a normal weekend at the ball park, with social distancing rules in place.
“Normally the umpires keep the balls on their possession when one goes foul. Whatever team was on defense had to provide game balls so really the other team was only contacting them with the bat,” says Louisiana Wahoo Director Ron Pitre.
Pitre went on to describe restrictions at the park, saying “Usually teams whenever they are playing next, get their bags ready by the dugout they are going to be going in, so there were rules in place that teams were not allowed by the dugout while teams were exiting.”
“Stands were roped off to where fans couldn’t sit in the stands, they had to sit in their own chairs that they brought, kind of spaced out.”
“Also, there were restrictions on teams warming up. Really they didn’t want you out of your vehicle unless it was 15-20 minutes before the game.”
Pitre says that the weirdest part about the experience wasn’t the roped off bleachers or the caution tape around the fields, it was the fact that they couldn’t even shake opposing teams’ hands after each game.
“It was strange. Since I was a kid in high school and growing up you always show sportsmanship after the end by telling each other good game,” added Pitre.
While the 8U girls dominated their tournaments, the 12U softball team finished 3rd at Colyell.
Pitre says just being back at the ball park made it all worth while.
“Winning is always in their mindset, but I think we would have been happy going and playing 4 games. Win or lose we were just happy being back at the ball field.”