Salem Little League Softball and Baseball

News Detail

11

Jun, 2020

2020 update - cancellations and news


June 11, 2020

The Board of Directors made final decisions on all programs last night- and an email went to each division (Tee Ball, Softball, and Baseball) surrounding those specifics in the 2pm hour today. We are recapping all 3 emails below- as such, this will be a bit long.

The Salem Little League Board of Directors met several times over the past few weeks and made many difficult decisions. Below are the results of those decisions- by division, followed by the reasons behind them, and the various alternatives for your child and refund options if a division your child plays in was unfortunately cancelled.

  • Tee Ball- cancelled
  • Farm/Coach Pitch Baseball - cancelled.
  • Minor Baseball- will have delayed season - timeline below.
  • Major Baseball- will have delayed season- timeline below.
  • Softball Division- cancelled.

Minor and Major Baseball timeline- we will put teams together in the next week or so. You will then be contacted. Practices will start late June, games would start after the 4th of July, assuming the State of MA moves to Phase 3 of it's reopening guidelines.

The why's:

  • For Softball: This decision was made at our late May meeting. We had intended to release more information via a virtual town hall, where we would answer any and all questions from parents. Delays then occurred for various reasons, including but not limited to receiving more information from the Little League District administrator, which in turn resulted in a delay to town hall, etc. This decision was made to allow our girls who play in our typical Spring season, to play summer softball in another established league, not related to Little League, as many already do this. The decisions made for tee ball, baseball, and softball have been made with safety at the top of mind, and then interest. With a summer program available for softball, and dwindling interest in a significantly delayed Spring Little League softball season, this was truly the only result left.  

  • Reasons for Tee-Ball and Farm Baseball divisions being cancelled: In order to run a program, while meeting the Massachusetts Phase 2 and Phase 3 requirements, Salem Little League would have to ensure proper social distancing is maintained on the field and especially in the dugouts. This would be exceedingly difficult if not impossible to do in Tee Ball and at a minimum be extremely difficult to do in Farm. If you are new to tee ball, when the ball is hit, all the other players chase it, many times resulting in a pig-pile of sorts to get the ball. Parents and fans love it- they laugh and cheer and take pictures galore. Some players will be coming out of Tee-Ball and into Farm, with that same mindset during the early part of the season and slowly learning proper positions as the season goes on. In the dugout, kids want to sit next to each other and talk about anything and everything. In a normal year, keeping kids sitting down in the dugout and paying attention to the game is hard, and our favorite line of "stop climbing the fence, please sit on the bench" is repeated multiple times each game as we teach the players the game both on the field and in the dugout. Coaches love it, parents love it. Parents and families laugh and cheer and take a ton of pictures- it just can't happen this season in this environment.

The only way to TRY and prevent this would mean coaches, who many players just met, who are wearing masks, constantly telling players to stay still, back away, don't chase the ball, get away, etc. That in itself may be traumatic for some of these young players, and would certainly take the fun out of the game for these kids. Even if we tried it, we aren’t sure we could meet the guidelines on a consistent basis.

The older divisions we feel will be able to social distant themselves in a dugout (and if needed, bullpen to create additional space) and understand the ramifications of not doing so. Older softball divisions would have that ability as well, but again, there is dwindling interest in a delayed Little League softball season with the various summer alternatives.

Alternatives for your child:

For softball: As mentioned, there is a summer league called Salem Witches Youth Softball, which is not affiliated with Little League but is a program that many of our Little League players participate in. Their website is www.salemwitchesyouthsoftball.com and their email address for questions is [email protected]. Their registration period has been extended until June 15 to allow you the opportunity to register your daughter with their program if you want to do so.

Additionally, Marblehead Little League Softball has contacted us and is graciously offering to take in Salem players for their delayed 2020 season. Little League International is waiving the residency requirement for those players whose home league was cancelled. This means that for this year only, you can play in Marblehead or other surrounding Little League programs but will need to come back to Salem in 2021 (unless, of course, you moved to Marblehead in the meantime). Marblehead's Little League softball program's website is http://marbleheadsoftball.website.siplay.com/ Other area Little League softball programs may be available as well. We are aware Peabody also made the difficult decision to cancel their entire 2020 Softball season.

For Tee Ball and Baseball: Other leagues that have not cancelled their Tee-Ball and Coach pitch program can take Salem players for this year only, since we have cancelled this division. That is an option for you if you want your child to play. We are unsure of any leagues that are keeping their youngest divisions. What we are aware of is that Peabody Little League also cancelled their Tee-Ball and Farm programs. As of last week, most leagues had not made decisions yet, so there may be options (i.e. neighboring Swampscott).

In regards to your registration fee: if you already emailed to opt-out for the year, you are all set, and those will be processed (see timeline below) If you did not opt-out of the season, email [email protected] and let us know if you would like a refund, or if you would like to apply those funds to the Spring 2021 season. It is our goal to get refunds done by the fourth of July. It takes us 4 months to get everyone to register for a season, and we are going to attempt to resolve refunds in a matter of weeks. We will send you an email with an update over the next week to ten days.

None of these decisions have been easy, at all. We are parents too. We know the kids do not have much to do right now and tried everything to give them some normalcy. The decisions made were with safety at top of mind. With the younger age groups, we could not confirm that we could consistently meet/exceed the restrictions, follow all guidelines, and mitigate the risk to your players, our volunteers, and your families. Softball had the additional hurdle of dwindling interest in a severely delayed Spring season.

We thank you for your patience, and for your understanding, as we navigate these unprecedented times.

Stay safe, enjoy the summer, and keep an eye out for any fall programs we may or may not be able to put together.

The Salem Little League Board of Directors

 

Local Sponsors

Salem Little League - Salem, MA

Salem Little League, PO Box 623
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

Phone: 978-743-6070

Email: [email protected]