WARSAW – By now, everyone is aware nearly everything is being shut down. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced on Monday a stay-at-home directive, which runs through April 7. What continues in hope for many around the area, the state and the country, is can the curve flatten enough to see a path to the future.
One of the organizations hoping to get back to normal sooner than later is little league. While it’s assumed that everyone wants to get back to normal, little leagues are holding out hope in the immediate sports world because of the time frame that it can operate.
“Right now, we aren’t picking a specific date that we’ll need to start the season by,” said Wawasee Community Summer League president Jamie Beer last weekend. “We made the choice this week to move our scheduled opening day that was planned for April 25th, but we are waiting to see how things develop before we decide on a new opening day date. We will be making every effort to still have a baseball & softball season so if that means not being able to start until sometime this summer, then that’s what we’ll do.”
Beer noted the state and federal associations have not contacted the WCSL directly, but the league has made calls to state authorities in gathering information about procedures in staying safe, as well as potential timelines.
“As parents, we all understandably have concerns right now,” Beer said, who has children who play in the league. “Parents that we’ve talked to know that the health and safety of our players, parents and fans is always our top priority as an organization and each summer trust us to make decisions with those two factors as driving force.”
Beer also pointed out the registration numbers were actually up this year compared to last year heading into the weekend, but was unsure as to how registration would go moving forward.
Sign-ups for the Wawasee Community Summer League for baseball, softball and 14U will continue through April 2. Sign-ups for T-Ball and machine pitch run through April 25. For more information on the WCSL, including information on a donation program the league is starting up to help its patrons, visit the league’s web site, Facebook, or email Beer.
Kristie Maiers from the Warsaw Little League stated the league does not have a drop-dead date for a cancellation of the season.
“Warsaw Little league will be adjusting the schedule in accordance with the Health Department recommendations that will be issued,” Maiers said. “Currently the biggest concerns voiced is when will the league get going. Answers will start coming as we get into mid-April.”
Maiers stated the league had not seen a decline in sign-ups through last weekend as 90 percent of its sign-ups except T-Ball and machine pitch had been completed.
WLL President Tony Clay has been in contact with Little League International, which issued some guidelines about overall intentions.
Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener offered, in part, “We will continue to consult with appropriate medical advisors, government health officials and our volunteer leaders around the world, and we are committed to doing the best we can for the safety and well-being of our players, families, volunteers, and fans.
“As this situation evolves, Little League International is committed to sharing the best guidance possible for all of our 6,500 leagues in more than 84 countries,” continued Keener. “It is our sincere hope that we can find ways to bring everyone back to the Little League fields this season, whether that’s later this spring or throughout the summer.
“Currently, Little League International is working through all possible scenarios for the 2020 Little League International Tournament and tournament eligibility for our leagues and players in our various divisions of play.”
Keener stated little leagues in the United States will not begin before May 11. WLL is staying flexible, potentially abbreviating its season or extending into July.
Leesburg Summer Recreational League wrapped up its season registration last weekend and is only accepting on a per-team need basis based on availability. For more information and contact info, see the league’s web site and Facebook page.