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Gov. Ducey says organized youth sports can resume in Arizona

(David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey announced Thursday that organized youth sports in Arizona can return.

“I said that things would be getting back to normal when somebody could say play ball or batter up,” Ducey said during a press conference. “I was hoping that that play ball was for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but in the meantime it can be for Little League.”

Ducey said the state would issue guidance for the returning activities.

The governor mentioned summer leagues, summer schools and day camps as activities that would need guidance.

The announcement came after Ducey said Arizona students would return to the classroom at the start of the next academic year. He said the state would offer more guidance on a return plan on Monday.

“We will continue to work with school leaders to ensure the needs of the children around the state are being met,” Ducey said.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association also unveiled its three-phased return-to-play guidelines on Thursday.

The first phase allows for group activities of no more than 10 people with an on-site coach and activities cannot be conducted at public facilities.

The second phase calls for group activities to be upped to no more than 50 people and requires an on-site coach. Public facilities would remained closed for the activities.

The first two phases of the plan also require strict coronavirus preventative measures.

The third and final phase reopens public training facilities and doesn’t limit the amount of people allowed to participate. It also doesn’t require social distancing, although the AIA recommends it.

The plan didn’t provide specific target dates for each of the phases.

“Our priority through this is for the safety and well-being of all our state’s student athletes and those that support them,” AIA Executive Director David Hines said in a press release. “We are not guaranteed to have a fall season.

“We are preparing to be ready on time, but it will all depend on how this situation develops as the summer goes on.”

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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