CADILLAC — Citing safety concerns and simply letting parents be able to plan a little better, CASA has canceled its summer baseball and softball programs.

The move is in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which will soon stretch into its third month.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extending the Safer at Home order Friday through June 12.

While dining in at restaurants and going to retail stores is now allowed in this part of the state at limited capacity, there are still tight restrictions on the number of people allowed in groups.

Finally, the calendar window was getting tighter and tighter.

"With the stay at home orders extended, it doesn't give us enough time to get teams together, practice and be ready to play," CASA president Ann Buch said. "Even after June 12, we don't know if it will be extended again or what the rules and regulations will be.

"We appreciate our parents' patience as we made our decisions."

Bush said the decision to cancel was a very tough one to make in light of kids having been out of school since mid-March and the need for social interaction increasing.

"It was a very tough decision, that's for sure," Bush said. "Safety has always been our No. 1 priority."

As far as refunds, if parents paid with a check, they can simply void it as CASA will not cash the check, Bush said. If they paid with cash or money order, the organization will be sending them a refund check similar to what was done when spring soccer was canceled earlier this year.

The CASA board had spent a lot of time finding ways to keep the summer as safe as possible to kids to play baseball and softball.

A number of states and organizations have come out with plans to do just that.

"We were pre-planning what to do to make it safe," Bush said. "We had starting looking at the CDC guidelines, other baseball/softball committees and Ohio's plans for reopening.

"The extension today just pushed it over as far as it doesn't give us enough time."

That means fall soccer is next on the docket. Bush said once a decision has been as to when Cadillac Area Public Schools will be open, forms will be going out.

She added that an extra week will likely be added to the season, whether it's at the start or the end.

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