SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- With recent attention on fall sports and how seasons are being impacted by COVID-19, one local youth sports organization is looking ahead to winter.

The Western Massachusetts Catholic Youth Organization has officially canceled its winter basketball season because of the pandemic.

Western Massachusetts Catholic Youth Organization officials said this was a tough call to make, but ultimately they want to make sure each player stays safe

Kids who play in the Western Massachusetts Catholic Youth Organization basketball league won’t be playing this year.

The secretary and board member of the group said there were a number of factors that played into the decision to call off the season during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There was concern over safety,” said Edward Godek, secretary and board member. “There would certainly be modifications needed if basketball occurred. Would there be able to be spectators?”

Godek said if there were no spectators that means there would be no money coming in to fund the basketball program, plus there was an issue with how many gyms would be available.

“The Springfield Diocese hasn't opened up their facilities to allow gyms to be used as well as the fact as even some of our Catholic rent space from the public schools in communities like Springfield, in Holyoke, is not going to be allowing their facilities to be used by outside entities,” he said.

Western Mass News checked in with Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Warwick about sports come winter.

“We are doing an analysis of where we are at, and we have to bring it forward to the School Committee in the next few weeks and at that juncture, the School Committee decision based on what the MIAA recommends whether we move forward with winter sports or not,” he said.

The state is expected to release guidance for winter sports in November. After that, the MIAA will review those recommendations before voting on a plan.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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