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Amended Executive Order 67 impacts local recreational basketball programs

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:34 PM EST
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Basketball courts across the commonwealth will look a lot different this winter.

For some folks in our hometowns, that means completely empty.

“I feel terrible for all the kids and the parents, and of course the youth in the county that look forward to this program every year,” said Wyatt Woody, Bedford County Parks and Recreation director.

Bedford County Parks and Recreation made the decision to cancel their winter basketball season, citing Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 67 as the reason.

“The additional required cleaning measures for indoor spaces and just the enforcement of other COVID guidelines - operation of indoor facilities with programs is a lot more difficult,” said Woody.

One of those new guidelines is a spectator cap.

Executive Order 67′s updated guidelines say recreational sports may not exceed 25 spectators.

Parks and Recreation says families are typically a big part of the basketball program.

“With parks and recreation activities, I feel like the parents’ involvement is crucial to what we’re able to offer,” said Woody.

Other organizations are also reacting to the situation.

The YMCA of Central Virginia says its season is still to be determined.

The Bedford Area YMCA plans to go forward with its season, but declined to interview with WDBJ7.

Whatever the case, basketball courts across Virginia won’t be the same in 2020.

“It’s something you’d never thought you’d see. It’s something that is, just, again, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling to have to do that,” said Woody.

Woody says the decision was also impacted by Bedford County Public Schools’ choice to not let outside organizations use indoor facilities.

He says they’re discussing possible alternatives this winter. He says they’ll provide whatever can be done safely.

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