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The youth basketball program in Madison has been canceled due to the current issues with COVID-19. More than 700 players will not see action on the hardwoods this season. File Photo

Youth Basketball Slam Dunked For The Season

MADISON- Youth basketball in Madison has fouled out.

The Madison Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with Mayor Paul Finley’s office has decided to cancel the 2020-2021 season of youth basketball in Madison due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we understand canceling programs such as basketball is yet one more negative in a string of a long year, our goal is to slow the curve of COVID-19, not add to it,” said Finley in a news release from the Madison Parks and Recreation Department.

The decision was a long, painstaking process over a two-month period as the annual youth basketball program in Madison utilizes not only the gymnasium at Dublin Memorial Park, but gymnasiums in several of the schools of Madison. City of Madison and Madison City Schools officials met with discussions of how to safely host the program, which is home to close to 700 players, both girls and boys. Last season there were 82 competitive teams in age divisions 7U-18U and an additional 10 developmental teams in ages 5 and 6.

Besides the players, the team coaches will also have to adhere to no youth basketball in Madison, which also carries over to the game management within the Recreation Dept. The seasonal hire of mostly young people for the basketball season included scorekeepers and clock operators along with the contracted referees. The recreation aides, who are employed by the Rec      . Dept., will be used for different projects during the winter.

The decision to dunk the youth basketball program came after weeks of gathering data. Once the decision was made, the Madison Recreation Department sent out an e-mail blast to coaches and players, as well as, posts on the City’s website, Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter accounts.

During the closure of the programs at Dublin Memorial Park, the gymnasium floor at the facility will undergo renovations which will include sanding, refinishing and repainting.

“Our 2021 season will hopefully be back with more energy and a fresh floor at Dublin Memorial Park,” added Finley.

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