Wellesley Youth Baseball & Softball held off as long as it could before nixing the spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it feels hopeful that its summer season will start as soon as June 29 based on the state’s phased reopening plan. Registration is open and the leagues will be formulating teams over the next week or so.
A good chunk of the families that had kids signed up for spring ball (more than 300) said in a survey they’d be interested in participating in summer action, as perhaps more families will be staying local than in years past.
“In light of the ongoing concerns about COVID-19, this summer season is going to look and feel a bit different than most other seasons,” says the organization’s president, Tom Ahern. “Wellesley Youth Baseball and Softball has developed a COVID-19 Safety Protocol Plan that draws heavily from recommendations from Little League International (which were developed in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control) as well guidance from the Commonwealth.”
What to expect:
- No sharing of equipment_hat means bats, helmet, gloves, etc.
- Players wear facemasks or gaiters when not in the field
- All coaches wear facemasks and keep social distance when they cannot have a face covering
- Umpires no longer behind the catcher, balls and strikes called from behind the mound
- Teams at bat are spread out and there will be limits on players in the dugout, if dugouts are used at all
- All players use hand sanitizer between innings, and baseballs are sanitized after every inning
- For younger kids (K-2nd grade), fielding “zones” will be used (think lines painted on the field to keep fielders from swarming a ball)
“Each team will also have one assigned “COVID Coach” whose job will be to make sure everyone is dong the right thing with the guidelines,” Ahern says.
The baseball program will be all in-town games, whereas the softball teams will be playing teams from other towns, in a limited fashion vs. prior years.
Everything is predicated on the leagues getting the go-ahead from the town, but optimism is in the air.