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Home United States Players, coaches happy to be swinging bats again

Players, coaches happy to be swinging bats again

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Ball diamonds

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Club softball teams will be able to hit the fields in Nebraska when the calendar turns to June.

Luke Olson admits, he probably knows more about Oklahoma’s governor than he’d ever imagine.

Olson, who coaches club softball in the Nebraska Thunder program, has been keeping a close watch on several states as the country tries to work its way out of a pandemic.

Are these states relaxing health restrictions? Are tournaments still on? What are the guidelines for youth sports and tournaments?

“One of the first tournaments we were looking into was this PGF qualifier we had at the end of May in Oklahoma,” Olson said. “I’m Google searching these articles about Oklahoma’s government and what their governor is saying about youth sports, which is something I never thought I’d be doing in my life.

“So it was a little odd just because of that.”

Olson is not alone. Most club softball teams in Nebraska play in a lot of out-of-state tournaments. In addition to getting teams “softball ready” for the summer — baseball and softball teams can practice outside starting Monday — coaches and program directors are trying to keep up with schedule changes.

Just this week a big tournament in Boulder, Colorado — which attracts about 140 teams — was canceled amid COVID-19 concerns. That’s leaving programs like Nebraska Gold scrambling to find a replacement tournament or games.

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