Salem Little League Softball and Baseball

Content




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

 
The previous communications regarding COVID-19 and the 2020 Season can be found below.

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May 21, 2020

Good evening all,

While we were always hopeful we would be able to have some sort of season this summer, with Governor Baker's announcement on Monday that youth sports is in phase 2 (limited) and phase 3 (limited, but less so) of the MA reopening, we are a little more confident that we will be able to do so.  Our general understanding is that phase 2 would be for single team practices, and phase 3 would be games.  Phase 2 can start 
no earlier than June 8 but can be pushed further back.  Once Phase 2 starts, it lasts at least 3 weeks.

We are currently awaiting the MA guidelines for youth sports, to determine what we need to do to meet them.  We will also need to meet/exceed any guidelines from the city of Salem.  In addition, Little League International is continuing to finalize guidelines and policies for leagues to follow in allowing seasons to get underway. 

We are not the experts- we are a bunch of volunteers who coach youth softball, baseball, and tee-ball. 

We are volunteers who remain committed to providing some normalcy for your children, via the field, if/when the experts say it is safe to do so, and assuming it is feasible to meet any new requirements.   

Based on the current timelines, we would expect practices to start sometime in the 2nd half of June, and games to start at some point in July, assuming the phase dates do not get pushed back, and we can meet all benchmarks required by the city, the state, and Little League.

While we wait for the guidance from the various entities, the board will begin preparing for the season as best we can, so that our ramp up time, once the guidance is received, is shortened.  

For now, stay safe, be well, and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.


Ray Cruddas
President
Salem Little League

cc:       Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, City of Salem
    Patricia O’Brien, Superintendent, City of Salem
            Joe Candelaria, Facilities Manager, City of Salem
            J. Baglieri, MA Little League District 16

The previous communications regarding COVID-19 and the 2020 Season can be found below.

April 17, 2020

Hello again everyone,

We hope everyone is managing as best they can. 

We told you we would update everyone today.   As of today, nothing has changed and we are still looking at a May 11th date to restart Little League activities.  That of course is dependent upon state and local officials and the folks from the National Little League.  We know local and state officials are working on a re-opening plan; when that will begin, and where LL falls in that, will determine when we can.  

We remain confident that we will be through the worst of this before long and can resume those activities that make us whole and are enjoyable to all.  We remain COMMITTED to get the kids on the field and to provide them some normalcy, when it is safe to do so, even if the season is pushed back into summer versus "spring".

We will update the next time something changes. 

In the meantime, keep an eye out on another email tomorrow afternoon.  We'd like to put together a league virtual long toss.  The details on how to do so, if interested, will be emailed to all tomorrow.

Be safe, be well.  We will come through to the other side together.


Ray Cruddas
President
Salem Little League


P
revious 2020 Season communications regarding COVID 19 can be found below.


March 24, 2020

Good evening everyone,

I wanted to give you an update of the preseason/season.

Back on March 12, we had communicated that all league activities were on hold until April 6.  This includes family night, originally scheduled for March 26, which you may have received a calendar reminder for earlier today (as we had not deleted it from the calendar- we apologize).

As the situation has continued to evolve, Little League International (aka Williamsport) has advised all leagues to suspend their seasons (for those in the warm southern U.S., who started already), or to not begin their seasons, until May 11.

As such, we are going to hold off on scheduling all activities, including selection of teams, until mid-April.  At that time, we will have a better picture of what is occurring in our nation and in our city. We are truly hoping we can look to go full steam ahead then. At this time, we absolutely plan on having a season, when it is safe to do so.

We will still have time to select teams, contact families, announce a family night and schedule practices.  While we wait, we will re-open registration until Friday, April 17 at noon, with no late fees.

Also, we know some of you have asked to “hit in the cage”.  The city has closed all play structures in the city’s parks, and while the batting cage being considered a structure could be debated, we are going to follow along in the spirit of this directive.  The city mandate, along with Little League’s guidance, means that the using the cage cannot happen.  Additionally, the cage is still locked, and the L screens and other safety equipment are still stored for the winter. 

However, there are plenty of drills that can be done at home, and we will post some of those later this week on our Facebook page.

This is an unprecedented time for all of us. We are keeping all our SLL families, past and present, in our thoughts.  We will be back to you by the 17th of April with an update, or sooner, if anything significant occurs.

On behalf of all our SLL Directors: Be well, stay safe, we will get through this. 

Sincerely,

 

Ray Cruddas
President, Salem Little League

cc:          Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, City of Salem
Patricia O’Brien, Superintendent, City of Salem
Joe Candelaria, Facilities Manager, City of Salem
               
J. Baglieri, MA Little League District 16

Local Sponsors

Salem Little League - Salem, MA

Salem Little League, PO Box 623
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

Phone: 978-743-6070

Email: [email protected]