COVID-19

UPDATE: Play Ball! Growlers get OK to resume season

The July 8 game was canceled due to a disagreement over governor's "professional sports" order.

UPDATE: The Kalamazoo Growlers announced Thursday morning that county and state officials have reversed their decision that could have cut short an already abbreviated baseball season.

EARLIER: Just a week after its season opener, the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team is putting its season on hiatus after orders from county officials.

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In a post on its website, the team announced that officials from the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department and Sheriff’s office visited Wednesday morning to put a halt to that night’s game.

The team says the dispute comes down to an interpretation of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order restarting professional sports in Michigan.

The order stats that professional sports may resume as long as players “maintain six feet of distance from one another to the extent compatible with the sporting activity.”

However, the Kalamazoo Growlers does not qualify as a professional sports team because players are not paid. Growlers’ players are all college atheletes who would lose their college status if they were paid.

Team leaders said they got approval to play on June 29 before their first game June 1. The team has retained a lawyer who is consulting with the county and the attorney general’s office.

The release states that the team has followed all safety guidance under the governor’s “professional sports” order including limiting attendance and maintaining distance between players when they are not on the field.

People who have tickets for postponed games will be given tickets for future games.

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