Standard Park Sports Complex

A young ball player makes his way into Standard Park Sports Complex in this Union Democrat file photo.

A lack of staffing is slowing Tuolumne County’s progress to reopen Standard Park Sports Complex after the California Department of Public Health recently loosened restrictions for indoor and outdoor youth sports.

Assistant County Administrator Eric Erhardt sent out a news release Friday afternoon announcing that the county is working toward reopening the park that has remained closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but currently hasn’t received enough interest for the eight to 10 part-time positions that need to be filled.

“The primary factor prohibiting Standard Park from opening immediately is the lack of qualified staff needed to run the facility,” the news release stated.

Anyone interested in applying for one of the positions can do so by searching for “assistant facility coordinator - relief” on the Tuolumne County Human Resources website (see box for address).

Those selected for employment will be required to pass a fingerprint/background check, which can generally be completed within two to three weeks. 

The release stated that the reopening of the park for public use will ultimately be determined by the timing and number of applications received.

In the meantime, the county Recreation Department will also be reaching out to groups that have used the park in the past to facilitate scheduling. 

Anyone wishing to coordinate sporting activities at the park will need to submit a written safety plan to the county Public Health Department for approval. 

The plan must detail the steps that will be taken to mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19 at sporting events (see box for the address to the state’s website that contains all of the current guidelines for such plans).

James Evans, a parent, coach, and member of the county Youth Sports Foundation, said he’s hoping there will be enough people interested in filling the positions to get the complex open before the soccer season begins in August.

Some 1,200 children were signed up for the soccer season last August that couldn’t be held, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and budget cuts that resulted in the county opting to keep the park closed through Sept. 30.

“The kids need a win, and the community needs a win, so I think it would be a good social, emotional victory for us to see the county find a way to reopen Standard Park as soon as possible,” Evans said.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 768-5175.

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