Northwoods League plots return to play, starting in North Dakota

An innovative contingency plan for the resumption of Northwoods League games this summer is set to become a reality in Bismarck, North Dakota as the Bismarck Larks unveiled their Larks Smart Start Plan yesterday afternoon. The Northwoods League will be playing baseball once again when the Bismarck Larks, the Bismarck Bull Moose, and the Bismarck Flickertails take the field this summer at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. The three teams will be stationed in Bismarck and will begin a rotating schedule of a total of seventy-two games once the State of North Dakota moves to the Low Risk phase described in the ND Smart Restart guidelines. One of the three teams stationed in Bismarck will be comprised of players “on loan” from the Thunder Bay Border Cats, where play this season is not possible due to border and municipal restrictions. This innovative approach represents the League’s commitment to remain nimble and adaptable in the current environment, with safety as the primary focus.

“Working in consultation with the North Dakota Department of Health, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, and the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, the Bismarck Larks have fashioned a careful and thorough “Larks Smart Start Plan” in order to create an environment where the fans, players, and personnel at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark can return knowing the place where they are gathering has been subjected to a rigorous process with their safety as the primary concern,” said Northwoods League President and Commissioner Gary Hoover. “The League is mindful that a special relationship has been established between the Larks and the greater Bismarck community, and each step in this process has been taken in a way that respects, and hopefully reflects, that special relationship.”

Where it becomes possible in each sub-region of the Northwoods League for play to safely commence, and the teams within each area develop a comprehensive safety plan for their ballpark, the League will adopt a similar “pod” approach to schedule games within each sub-region so that fans in those communities can comfortably return to their ballparks as well.

Read more: NWL Press Release

Photo: Northwoods League

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