Tourneys return to baseball, beach volleyball complexes

LakePoint Sports begins 2nd phase of reopening

By NICHOLAS SULLIVAN
Posted 6/5/20

Crawl. Walk. Run. It's the natural progression of movement for babies learning how to navigate a world that's unfamiliar to them. But the terms also serve as the mantra for LakePoint Sports as the …

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Tourneys return to baseball, beach volleyball complexes

LakePoint Sports begins 2nd phase of reopening

Posted

Crawl. Walk. Run.

It's the natural progression of movement for babies learning how to navigate a world that's unfamiliar to them. But the terms also serve as the mantra for LakePoint Sports as the company begins to reopen its campus in a world that's suddenly unfamiliar to many.

After being completely shut down for more than two months, LakePoint entered the first phase of its reopening in late May, allowing training, practices and rentals. The first, umm, baby steps of Phase 2 came this week with the campus hosting its first baseball tournament (PBR Showdown at LakePoint, Thursday-Sunday) and first beach volleyball tournament (Sand Classic, Saturday-Sunday) since the temporary closure.

"Providing a safe environment for all athletes, coaches, families, guests, team members and the local community, that's our top priority," said David Pate, LakePoint's director of marketing and partnerships. "We've taken that very seriously.

"We went through a very thoughtful and methodical process, looking at each sport, event and venue individually before reopening campus. We also took that same approach as we moved from Phase 1 to Phase 2. We'll take that same approach as we move from Phase 2 to Phase 3."

Pate said the LakePoint team has more than 50 guidelines — incorporating all federal, state and local regulations — across all of its athletic offerings. With new protocols and relaxing of restrictions happening almost daily, LakePoint's individual rules are certainly subject to change.

As of this writing, the baseball complex and beach volleyball pavilion are in Phase 2, while Champions Center (home to basketball, among other indoor activities) and the soccer/lacrosse fields remain in Phase 1.

At this point, it's unknown when the different venues will move into their next stages. Although, the plan appears to be for Champions Center to reach Phase 2 by mid-July, when the LakePoint Hoops Live Showcase is scheduled to take place.

"As we continue to get guidance, we will look towards moving those venues into Phase 2," Pate said, regarding Champions Center and the soccer/lacrosse fields.

While the differences between the initial two phases is pretty stark, as the latter allows for competitions to be played and the former doesn't, the changes during a move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 will be more subtle.

Right now, a limited number of teams are allowed to participate in tournaments. According to the PBR website, 98 teams across four age groups are taking part in this week's tourney. The other major difference will be the limiting of spectators, as current protocols state LakePoint is "strongly recommending" one spectator per athlete at baseball games and two spectators per athlete at beach volleyball matches.

In the same vein, Pate made sure to note the convenient option of being able to enjoy LakePoint events virtually through live-streaming and video-on-demand services available on its website as part of a partnership with PlaySight.

"All of our baseball games are streamed live this weekend," Pate said. "That will give coaches and scouts the opportunity ... to log in, get video-on-demand and scout players in that fashion."

He added, "In this era that we're in, as we keep shifting to a new normal with limited spectators, this is an added amenity we have."

Those who do attend games will notice some changes.

Most notably, LakePoint has become a cashless campus, meaning guests must use either card or mobile for all payments, including entry. There will be designated entrances and exits not only at the venues but also at the fields. Teams are also discouraged from holding meetings after contests.

Members of the LakePoint team will be wearing PPE and increasing frequency of sanitation. Meanwhile, signage with updated guidelines will be posted outside and inside the venues. The information is also available online and can even be viewed by specific venue.

"Adherence to these guidelines is vital to maintain a safe environment for everybody on campus," Pate said.

The rules and regulations may seem extreme to some guests, but Pate believes most people appreciate the lengths that have been taken to put the "Sports" back in LakePoint Sports.

"I think they're just happy to be back playing sports, even if it's just the one-on-one training," he said. "They've been very thankful to us for providing a safe environment. Everyone is supportive of our approach."