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Jun, 2020

BLL Season to Start in July

Dear Beverly Little League Community,

The interest to play baseball this season was strong based upon the results of our recent survey. Thank you for your responses. The Board decided to move forward with outlining an initial framework as a first step towards possibly allowing us to open a spring/summer 2020 season, subject to further state and local regulations and guidance. The current plan is as follows:

League play will be limited to players who are 8 years old or older using the 2020 season age calculator issued by Little League Baseball. The Board was not confident that on-field volunteers with our youngest players could enforce and maintain strict compliance with face covering rules, proper hygiene procedures, or social distancing regulations thereby possibly increasing risks to health and safety. All families who registered a child under 8 years old will receive a full refund. The League will process the refunds as promptly as possible. The League will look for opportunities to provide clinics for the younger age groups later in the summer or in the fall depending on the circumstances as the health and safety restrictions may change. We look forward to having all of these families register for next season.
The League will provide refunds to any other family who chooses not to participate in the spring 2020 season. We kindly ask that you notify the league of refund requests by June 15th and we will process the payment. 

We anticipate the following timeline for League play as of today:
Team practices will start the week of July 13
Games will start August 1
We anticipate 6 weeks of games with possible limited playoffs so that the season will be completed by September 30

We stress that these proposed steps to play this year will directly depend on how the current situation with the virus evolves over the next few weeks, and what the CDC, Governor and the Mayor may advise for youth sports activities. Also, this initial plan is subject to all rules, regulations, and guidance concerning best practices and health and safety measures issued by federal, state, and local health officials. 

Even though all of the guidance on starting games is not yet available, we already know that any little league baseball played this spring and summer will not look like the baseball we have always played and enjoyed. The League expects to be required to meet standards aimed at personal health and safety protection, such as social distancing, sanitizing routines, likely face coverings, limited player and coach headcounts, spectator restrictions, shorter games, and staggered game starting times. The level of supervision of the players by the adults on and around the fields will also need to be increased. We anticipate requiring substantial volunteer support to serve as bench coaches, umpires, field monitors, and safety monitors to allow the League to move forward with any planned reopening. The Board is working on policies and protocols now while we wait for additional information from the state and City of Beverly. The Board remains firm that the well-being of all children, families, and spectators is most important. The League will not engage in any activities if we determine that the risks are too great to play baseball.

The Board will determine the number of teams and divisions once we have a firm headcount of committed players and families, as well as coaches willing to assist this season under the changed playing conditions. We anticipate that we may need to reorganize the divisions, and restructure the teams already drafted for the Majors through a new selection process to ensure fun and fair competition. We will have to wait and see how the numbers work out before making any final decisions.

Finally, as noted, the League will require many additional volunteers to make this happen if we are able to start team activities according to our initial plan. We will be looking at our current list of managers and coaches once we hear back from the families, and receive responses to the coach survey that we sent earlier this week. Playing this season will depend on whether we have enough volunteer support for positions other than managers and coaches. Please contact the League if you are willing to devote time to the program this upcoming summer.

We are cautiously optimistic, and excited, that we all will be able to enjoy some level of little league baseball this season. Again, everyone knows and understands that this situation continues to evolve, and we may need to revise our initial plans or change course all together. Yet, the Board is committed to trying to find a way for our families to get back on the fields and have some fun as safely as possible. 

The Board thanks all families for their patience and continued support. 

Please feel free to contact the Board with any questions.

Thank you,
Beverly Little League Board

League email – [email protected]

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