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PLAY BALL! Summer Season Announcement

Westfield Little League Families,

Thank you for your continued support and patience over the past few months. After careful evaluation over the past few months, we have decided that baseball and softball will resume with a Summer Season for many of our players starting this month. If you were unable to view the announcement by Westfield League President, Scott LaBombard, a recording is available at facebook.com/westfieldlittleleague.

Over the next couple of days, we will be opening up registration on our website with hopes of establishing teams this weekend and starting practices next week. If your son or daughter would like to participate in this season, please respond in a timely fashion. Due to the circumstances, our window for registration will be very short. For those who registered for the spring season, there will be no additional fees. This program will also be open to players who didn’t plan to play in the spring.

For those who elect not to play, we completely understand and will be starting the refund process shortly. More details about registration and refunds will be provided in the coming days.

Our plan to resume play is based on guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Health, the Westfield Department of Health, the CDC and Little League International. Play will initially start with practices during Phase 2 of the Massachusetts phased re-opening plan. During this time, there will be no organized games or scrimmages, and umpires will not be permitted. Our hope is to begin playing games during Phase 3 (no earlier than June 29). While we know that the daily COVID numbers are highly encouraging, we are also aware that the Phases are fluid, and if the situation changes, these dates could also change.

The Summer Season will initially be open to league age 8-12 year olds on the baseball side and league age 8-14 year olds on the softball side. Once registration is completed, we will determine age groups for our various divisions.

Unfortunately, we have concluded that we will be unable to consistently implement, enforce and monitor the new safety guidelines at our Rookie Baseball and 8U Softball levels. However, our hope is to offer some sort of play for 6-7 year olds during Phase 3. We are also exploring options for Senior Baseball players.

There will be changes to how we normally operate, with some responsibilities being on the parents/guardians. The new safety rules for Phase 2 will include the following:

  • COVID-19 release waivers will be required
  • Players and coaches will be expected to have their own hand sanitizer (frequent hand sanitizing will be required)
  • Team equipment, baseballs/softballs, high touch areas and field maintenance equipment will be sanitized frequently
  • Players should have their own equipment (no sharing of equipment or food/drink will be allowed)
  • Players and coaches should refrain from direct physical contact, including handshakes and high fives
  • The use of candy, chewing gum and/or sunflower seeds will not be permitted
  • Social distancing guidelines will be in effect for team members and spectators
  • Players and coaches will be required to wear face coverings when not on the playing field or when social distancing is not possible
  • Dugouts, bathrooms and bleachers will not be available for use during Phase 2
  • Players should place their equipment/gear outside the fence, up and down the 1st and 3rd baselines. There should be at least 6 feet between each players’ equipment/gear
  • Tracking of participants for each practice will take place
  • Practice times will be staggered to limit the number of people at the facility at any given time

A complete set of Phase 2 COVID related safety rules will be included during registration. As Phase 3 approaches, we will provide additional rules for games.

We ask for your patience as we work through the complexities of getting this season off the ground. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Thanks again,
Westfield Little League Board of Directors

by Admin posted 06/08/2020
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