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Governor Henry McMaster misspoke at his coronavirus pandemic press briefing on Wednesday when he said the ban on spectator sports had not been lifted.
McMaster's statement brought into question whether the South Carolina American League, of which the Sumter P-15's, the Dalzell-Shaw Jets and the Sumter Flyers are members, was in violation of the guidelines. The league, which is an alternative to the canceled American Legion program, has been playing for two weeks.
Andy Shain of the Post and Courier posted on his Twitter account that he had spoken with the Governor's office, and it confirmed that McMaster had misspoken.
The South Carolina American League posted on its Twitter account a copy of the guidelines for the reopening of youth sports released on May 20. It said practices could begin on May 31, and that teams could resume playing games on June 15 "with or without spectators."
Strict guidelines from the Center for Disease, Control and Prevention regarding social distancing have to be followed in order to have fans.
Two of the teams in the Lower State League of the SCAL have been forced to fold, thus causing the P-15's and the Jets to alter their schedules.
Orangeburg and North Charleston were forced to shut down when they were told the fields they were to use would not be available to them, according to Derick Urquhart, who spearheaded the formation of the independent league. The league was formed when the American Legion National Organization determined it would cancel its season.
The Lower State League is now down to four teams, with Florence Post 1 and Camden joining Sumter and Dalzell. Instead of playing each of the league teams twice for 10 Lower State game, the remaining teams will play each other three times for a total of nine league games.
Sumter was supposed to play a league game against Florence on July 10 and follow it with the completion of a suspended game from last Friday. With the shuffling of the schedule, that will take place on July 20 at Riley Park beginning at 6 p.m.
Urquhart said he has heard of none of the other 14 senior teams having any issues.
Sumter and Dalzell are both off to 1-2 starts. The P-15's lost their first two games before winning on Monday. The Jets won their first game and have since lost the last two.
UPDATED SUMTER SCHEDULE
July 2 at Florence, 7:30 p.m.
July 6 Camden, 7 p.m.*
July 8 Camden, 7 p.m.*
July 10 Camden, 7:30 p.m.*
July 13 at Dalzell-Shaw, 7 p.m. *
July 15 Dalzell-Shaw, 7 p.m.*
July 17 at Dalzell-Shaw, 7 p.m.*
July 18 Richland, 7 pm.
July 20 Florence, 6 p.m.* (DH)
July 22 at Florence, 7:30 p.m.*
July 24 Florence, 7 p.m.*
July 28 vs. Florence (at Segra Park in Columbia), 5:30 p.m.
July 30 Fort Mill, 7:30 p.m.
UPDATED DALZELL SCHEDULE
July 3 at Florence (DH), 6 p.m.*
July 8 Florence, 7 p.m.*
July 9 at Lexington, 7 p.m.
July 10 Florence, 7 p.m.*
July 13 Sumter 7 p.m.*
July 15 at Sumter, 7 p.m.*
July 17 Sumter, 7 p.m.*
July 20 Camden, 7 p.m.*
July 22 Camden, 7 p.m.*
July 23 vs. Richland (at Segra Park in Columbia), 5:30 p.m.
July 24 Camden, 7 p.m.*
July 29 at Lancaster, 7 p.m.
July 30 Lancaster, 7 p.m.
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