Sedalia Parks and Recreation has been planning on opening the pools and running summer sports and activities programs all along, but it's a little more official as Sedalia Parks and Recreation announced their June plans. According to a press release from Sedalia Parks and Recreation pools will open and youth baseball, t-ball and tiny tee's will begin June 1.

Sedalia Parks and Rec worked with the Pettis County Health Center on a plan to safely resume operations. Of course, some things are going to be done a little differently to keep people healthy while having fun. Here's what you can expect before you head to the pools or ball fields:

At the pools:

  • Signs that encourage patrons to wash hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Physical distancing will be required in all lines and on the pool deck. Pool deck loungers will be separated by six feet.
  • All staff will wear face masks. Patrons are encouraged to wear masks while on deck and in locker rooms.
  • Centennial Pool will have a max capacity of 334 swimmers while Liberty Pool will have a max capacity of 314 swimmers. This will allow people in the pool to stay six feet apart.
  • Staff will be cleaning locker rooms, ladders and other touch points more often.
  • Loungers will be cleaned after every use. More staff will be on deck to make sure this happens.
  • Barriers will be placed between staff and customers in admission areas and concession stands.
  • Concession stands, with the exception of soft pretzels, will only be offering pre-packaged snacks. No hot-dogs and snow cones.

There are other procedures for staff as well. You can see more complete details about pool operation here.

For baseball and softball:

  • Maintain six feet physical distancing when conducting team and individual activities. This includes using the restroom. (No team restroom breaks.)
  • Coaches will be given sanitizer and wipes and are expected to use it frequently during practice to mitigate the spread of the virus.
  • Participants should not attend practices or games if they feel ill, are displaying signs of the illness, or deemed at high risk or most vulnerable to contracting the virus.
  • Equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum. And equipment should be sanitized between uses.
  • Use of dugouts should be severely limited.
  • Equipment should be spaced out six feet apart along bleachers and fences.
  • Parents are encouraged to drop off kids and leave, or enjoy other areas of the park during practices. At minimum, six feet physical distancing must be practiced.
  • No sharing of food and drinks. No gum or seeds.
  • When coaches need to be closer than six feet to the players they will be required to wear a mask.
  • No spectators will be allowed in the bleachers or behind the backstop. They will need to sit along the fence line down the lines or in the outfield. Spectators will need physical distance from other spectators.
  • No end of game handshakes or high fives. Just a verbal "great-game" and a hat tip from across the field.

These guidelines are for both youth and adult baseball and softball. You can see all the guidelines here.

The decision Sedalia Parks and Recreation Director Amy Epple and her staff made to open the pools and offer softball and baseball this summer is a gutsy one. It's a big undertaking to train employees and staff on what they'll need to know to keep patrons safe. It's a big undertaking to work with the Pettis County Health to make sure all the safeguards are in place to offer these things this summer.

And that's not even mentioning the complaints she and her staff will get about the polices they've put in place. Of course there will be the person bitching about the physical distancing between loungers at the pool deck... all while enjoying that lounger and getting a great tan all summer. Or the softball player annoyed he can't spit out his sunflower seeds every game, who will wind up being his team's MVP.

So here's the thing. Instead of complaining about this stuff. Thank Amy and her staff for going the extra mile for you. Most town parks and recreation departments are staying closed for the summer. Give thanks Sedalia Parks and Recreation isn't. And do all their employees a favor. Follow the rules and don't complain about 'em.