In pods of ten with the temperature surpassing 90 degrees, organized youth baseball made its 2020 debut in Owatonna on Monday, June 8. Practice began for players in grades 2 through 7. Those in grades 8 through 12 will start practice on Monday, June 15. Social distance and health guidelines are being observed. Whether they will play games this summer is yet to be determined.

The @OTownBaseball Twitter account proclaimed, "Day #1 in the books. Great to see the ball flying today. Coaches and players did awesome! It was HOT just the way we like it!"

Baseball and softball are classified as "medium risk" in the "Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth Sports" advisory on the Minnesota Department of Health website. 'Medium risk' being "sports that involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can't be cleaned between participants."

The guide from the department of health states, "Games and competitions are not allowed at this time for these sports."

@OTownBaseball reported that 221 players were signed up for grades 2 through 7.

Meanwhile, Owatonna Parks and Recreation is accepting registrations for track and field for boys and girls that have completed second through eighth grade. The program starts June 15 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Owatonna High School track and costs $35.

U-12 and U-14 girls lacrosse sign-up is also ongoing through park and rec to begin June 15 from 6:45 pm to 8:00 pm. The website states the first 15 minutes will be checks for COVID.

Owatonna Parks and Recreation also announce a drive-in movie June 19 and 20 at River Springs Water Park parking lot. The movie Abominable will be shown for free but registration is required.

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