The Northwoods League’s Minnesota-Iowa pod begins play Wednesday when the St. Cloud Rox visit the Willmar Stingers. Elsewhere in the pod, Waterloo travels to Mankato.

While social distancing questions remain fluid as more comes out about the coronavirus, Stingers co-owner Marc Jerzak addressed some what-if questions on Tuesday about the 45-game season that’ll run from July 1-Aug. 20. Guidelines could be adjusted as conditions change.



What if a player tests positive for COVID-19?

(Note: On Tuesday, the Stingers discovered a player had tested positive for COVID-19. He has been removed from team activities while a second test is scheduled)

MJ: “Right now, we tested all the players and we should get all the results back (by Tuesday). Every single day, our players are screened at the ballpark with a temperature check and a series of questions. They’ve been doing that ever since they’ve been here. Our staff, the same thing. … If a player does test positive, that player is going to be quarantined from team activities and we’ll follow the proper authorities on what to do next.”

What if a player/players from an opposing team test positive for COVID-19?

MJ: “When the opposing team gets here, the same thing: we’ll be screening the opposing team and the umpires. If there (are) any concerns, that player remains on the bus and does not play that night.”

What if government guidelines change during the season if there’s a second wave of the pandemic?

MJ: “We play at a city facility, so our landlord is the City of Willmar and the City of Willmar follows the guidelines with the State of Minnesota. We’d follow those guidelines.”

What If someone in a host family comes up with COVID-19? What would the player living with them do?

MJ: “The player would be removed from that family and put into an alternative living situation (hotel or another family) or go home and return if it’s safe to return.”

What if social distancing guidelines are not being followed in the stands?

MJ: “If fans are uncomfortable, we will help those fans out. There’s risk with everything we do and we’ve had several season ticket holders who aren’t comfortable coming out so we’ve credited them for the 2021 season. We don’t want to force anyone to come out if they’re uncomfortable. We’ve put procedures in place with the video we put out so that everyone can enjoy some baseball and feel safe.”

What if there’s a rain delay? Will any postponed games be made up?

MJ: “The league has taken the stance that it (calling off games) will be quicker. They don’t want fans standing around and congregating in small areas, or players congregating around for a long period of time. Rain delays are going to be quicker than normal to call them. For postponed games, we’ll try to make them up the next time we play each other.”