Parma Recreation Department delays fall/winter basketball rec program signups

PARMA, Ohio — Parma is currently employing a four corners or stall offense regarding its fall/winter basketball rec program.

“We haven’t officially opened up the registration yet,” Parma Parks & Recreation Director Mickey Vittardi said. “In a normal year, we generally have registration closed by the end of October.

“I met with the mayor earlier (last) week and also had conversations with the Parma City Schools, because we’re just a tenant at the schools. Wanting to have as much normalcy as possible for students, the school district said we could take our time to make sure we have safety protocols in place.”

In a normal year, Parma’s fall/winter basketball rec program includes more than 1,000 participants, including first through eighth graders, as well as a high school basketball program and a men’s league.

“Assuming everything improves or as least doesn’t get worse, we plan to have registration by mid-December, which allows us enough time to form teams and order uniforms,” Vittardi said.

“That way we can begin the program in the first of the year. The last thing we want to do is what we encountered with soccer earlier this year where we had to issue refunds.”

The city’s approach for its basketball rec program is basically the same Vittardi used last spring when he delayed a decision on the boys and girls youth baseball/softball programs, which ended up taking place over the summer without much of a hitch.

That included the rec director putting into place numerous safety protocols. The result was a successful season without any COVID-related team quarantines or forfeits.

“We hired what we called game managers to oversee all of the safety protocols that needed to be followed by the teams, the players and even the spectators,” Vittardi said.

“While we had concerns, the safety involved made us feel confident that we would have a successful season, which we did.”

Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter commended the rec department for its summer season, which also included the opening of the splash pad.

“Obviously, the first thing is the safety of our residents and the children participating,” DeGeeter said. “If we can do it and we can do it safely, we want to offer these activities — especially for the kids.

“Not only is this pandemic tough on adults, but even more so you can see it with the children. So anything we can give them and they can do it safely, we want to be able to do that. Our rec department has a great track record managing through unmanageable times.”

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.

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