Nassau County reopens 60 athletic fields

Most sports leagues are permitted to resume play


Young athletes were busy at Cedar Creek Park, in Seaford, on Monday for the start of Express Lacrosse’s youth training clinic. During their practice, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the reopening of county batting cages and 60 athletic fields and the resumption of moderate-risk sports like baseball, softball and non-contact lacrosse.

Starting Monday, the county’s parks department prepared 10 baseball fields, 37 softball fields and 13 multipurpose fields. Leagues of all ages were permitted to resume play and sports summer camps were also authorized to reopen.

“It’s so important for young people . . . learning how to lose is a great thing [and] learning how to win graciously is a good thing,” Curran said. “These are all taught on the sports field. It’s not just for kids, it’s also really important for our adults and for our seniors.”

According to the county’s reopening website, moderate-risk sports are described as having a “limited ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually” and require that athletes avoid sharing equipment or disinfect equipment between uses.

Sports under this category also include field hockey, gymnastics, water polo, doubles tennis, relay swimming, racket games, crew, rafting, paintball and soccer.

Leagues have also established their own specific rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Jack Moran, one of the directors of Express Lacrosse, explained that practices would not entail competitive play and only include drills that allow for social distancing.

Joe Ditaranto and Bernie Rosen, both representing the New York Senior Softball Association, were also at Curran’s news conference and announced that their season will begin on July 27.

Ditaranto said that NYSSA created a list of 12 safety measures to protect their athletes, the oldest of whom is 93. Players must bring their own bats, wear a mask while not playing and refrain from high-fiving or hugging each other, among other measures.    

Curran also announced that, over the holiday weekend, the county received 1,281 calls alerting them of fireworks. Nassau County’s fire service responded to 616 calls, police made seven arrests and there was one accident, in which a 20-year old Levittown man was hospitalized after a firework went off in his hand.

Regarding social distancing violations, the county received 68 complaints over the holiday weekend, issued 16 warnings and gave three appearance tickets.

Curran also gave an update on the coronavirus pandemic in Nassau County, announcing that there were 42,031 total positive cases, 2,186 total deaths, 49 hospitalizations, four patients in intensive care and one patient on a ventilator. On Monday, there were no new patients on ventilators and seven patients had been discharged.

Curran said that the statistics “tell us that when we’re smart, we could reopen.”

“They tell us that this is the key to an intelligent and safe reopening,” she added. “They also tell us that, by-and-large, people are doing the right thing and continue to do the right thing in Nassau County.”