Youth sports allowed to resume practices, games can begin in Phase 3

SPOKANE, Wash.– Spending time outside is what makes the Inland Northwest so great.

Now, parents in Washington have one more reason to do just that, like taking their kids to practice.

Gov. Inslee issued guidance on what must be done for teams to practice again.

Kids must be separated into groups of five across the field, and safety measures must be in place for everyone at the practice. Parents cannot congregate on the sidelines.

The Spokane Youth Sports Association is happy to see this step forward, but they are not resuming their league action until Phase 3, when games can resume.

“We kept hoping maybe the first of May we can start, then it was the middle of May, now it’s the first of now, now we’re hoping for first of July,” Executive Director Phil Helean said.

Actual games will begin whenever the county moves onto Phase 3.

Each field where a game is played will only be allowed to have up to 50 people present at once.

State Rep. Marcus Riccelli is one coach preparing for these new measures on the field as he coaches his kid’s soccer team.

“It’s an extra step for coaches, but for those of us who love to coach and for the safety of our players and parents, we want to do all the things that are right,” Riccelli said.

SYSA is still reeling right now as they are down to just four employees, while also trying to pay the bills at the fields they own.

“We still have our ongoing expenses to take care of Andrew Rypien Field, paying the water bill, getting it mowed, taking care of our fields and facilities,” Helean said.

SYSA currently has about 5,000 kids signed up for spring sports. The push to get those kids back on the field comes at a critical time.

“Our kids, from a health standpoint, from an obesity and diabetes epidemic we face, they need that healthy active lifestyle, so I think it’s important we get them out there in a safe way,” Riccelli said.

Phase 3 is also when professional teams can get back on the field.

READ: Spokane County playground structures reopen