FORT KNOX, Ky. — It’s official! Intramural sports is back at Fort Knox — with limitations.
The installation’s intramural sports director, Adrian Bogle, gathered Aug. 4 with coaches from eight teams planning to participate in the coming softball season to explain how the game will be played with COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s all about dos versus don’ts,” said Bogle, from the Fort Knox Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “Any way you look at it, we’re taking a chance. Everything is prevention, and not playing at all is the only 100% way to keep everybody safe.”
While the very idea of intramural sports returning has some folks smiling, Bogle said not all the news is good. Some sports involving contact are likely not to return anytime soon, to include flag football and basketball. Even soccer and volleyball are at risk.
“They were talking about soccer, but there’s a lot of bumping, so we’re going to see in the spring of next year if we can do soccer,” said Bogle. “I’m about 105% sure that basketball will not happen. I figure volleyball is almost like softball touching-wise, and closeness, so maybe 50/50 for it.”
Pickleball and golf are also on the list of sports that will likely be approved. All traditional intramural sports will be decided by MWR and garrison leaders at a later date as those seasons arrive, said Bogle.
Softball was the first to receive the nod, according to Bogle, because of timing, minimal touching between players, and the ability to manage any virus spreading concerns.
“The amount of touching between players really only involves tags coming in, and then you’re not face-to-face,” said Bogle. “Of course, there is touching of the balls but we have a measure in place to sanitize them twice between innings. Referees will have a hand in this to make sure it happens.
Everybody coming off the field will be required to sanitize at stations located in each dugout before coming up to bat. The one big negative in all this, said Bogle, is the necessity to restrict fans from attending games.
The plan to reengage with intramurals began when his bosses approached him about whether it was feasible to have intramurals. Bogle said he began work on researching the dangers of each sport as well as ideas on how to reasonably mitigate each issue.
Bogle said senior leaders took his suggestions and ideas and decided that softball would be a go.
For him and others planning to participate in the softball, the start of season came as welcome news. Coaches from eight teams — HRC Cardinals, HRC Scared Hitless, HRC OPMD, 1st TSC, RRC USAREC, HHC USAREC, MWR and 83rd USARRTC — attended the meeting. By the end of the meeting, they were coordinating practice sessions with Bogle prior to the Aug. 11 season opener.
“We’re here to provide a service for the Soldiers and the families, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Bogle. “This is about morale. Families are getting frustrated with each other sitting in the house all day. This provides a stress release from daily life under COVID.
“I’m glad we’re getting off the ground; people really need this.”