Youth sports leaders say guidelines ready to go, as they anticipate approval

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Tuesday the move to Tier 3. For some indoor sports, the move means getting to open their doors to more people.

However, outdoor sports are left at a standstill as they await changes to be submitted to the governor and approved. Things like youth sports are currently counted in Tier 4, but Mayor Blangiardi said he will be requesting that it moved to Tier 3.

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Tier 3 would increase the number of folks in a group from five to ten, which could apply to places like bowling alleys.

“And we can bring in more people,” said Christian Arakawa with Pali Lanes. “Can come together as friends or family, and bowl together because that was a big drawback. If you have a group of eight, you know, you don’t want to split up. That’s not the whole point of it.”

He said this will also allow them to bring in more bowling league members and reduce waitlist times, saving them money in the long run.

However, while bowling alleys are expanding, outdoor sports are still waiting to find out if they can start soon. Many sports leaders say they are ready to get started.

“Everyone is going to hit the ground running. So, once the green light goes everyone is ready to go.”

Gerald Oda, Little League Baseball Coach

He said they have had preliminary guidelines ready for months. These include wearing masks on and off the field, social distancing in the dugout, and changing baseballs every few innings.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said if team sports resume, there may not be fans in the stands.

“The biggest thing we’re going to ask the leagues is that we don’t have spectators on the sidelines,” said Blangiardi. “For those parents, we’re going to ask them to wait in the car that’s what we’re going to do.”

There will also be a checklist before games to make sure players aren’t feeling sick, and games will likely be staggered.

“Hawaii Department of Health sent out their guidelines for return to play for youth sports,” said Chris Keem, Oahu League of Hawaii Youth Soccer President and CEO. “So I’ve been updating those today with our, our guidelines as well. So hopefully everyone reads those and follows what we need to have happen to make sure we have a safe environment.”

Parents of high school seniors tell KHON this is also their last chance to impress colleges for scholarships and for a chance to compete nationally. Leslie Daijo, said he just wants to see his son Rayden competing again with a big smile on his face.

“It’s going to mean everything to him,” said Daijo. “I mean this is a senior year. the year that he should have the most fun. They’re actually back to back state champs so he was looking forward to defending this state title. But really, he just misses, just being able to play.”

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