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COVID-19 Update / 21 May

Good afternoon Washoe Families,

Well…. we met as a board last night and made some decisions that we really did not want to make.  We are all volunteers who ultimately are in this to bring the game of baseball to our children and our community so what I am about to tell you hurts us deeply.  Please excuse the length of this email…there is a lot of information in it so that you are informed of some of the “why’s” surrounding our decisions.

We received guidance from two different sources yesterday that made having a baseball season during this current situation an impossibility. 

First off, the county parks and rec, using guidance from those who they are forced to take guidance from, issued timeframes for opening back up the fields for league use.  We were looking at June 21st or possibly as late as July 1st for the opening of the field to us in a modified capacity.  Specific guidance was allusive on what that exactly looked like other than severely limiting the number of people in the park/on the field at any given moment and for practices only…no games.  On top of that timeline, games would not start until phase 4 or as late as July 22nd in their current estimation. 

At the same time the CDC came out with guidelines on reopening youth sports programs.  We would have to screen every child, every time they set foot in the park.  This have taken many more volunteers with a lot more expertise than we possess to get kids into the park safely to play every day. 

Combining these two realities we have made the painful decision to cancel the spring season outright. 

We also decided, for now, to shelve the possibility of a sandlot (officially sponsored) league.  However, if some of those timeframes change with number improvement and some of the reopening guidelines get revamped, we can fire this back up quickly.  We had a pretty good structure ready to go and if it becomes feasible for us to do it, we will. 

Survey:  Thank you to all that have chosen your options via our survey.  I will now begin processing those who chose “refund if we cancel.”  Also, thank you to all who have chosen to donate to the league.  This will help us greatly in providing baseball in the fall and next spring.

If you have not filled this out… please do so.  Survey

WE NEED YOU TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT DONE WITH YOUR MONEY.  Refund/Credit/Donation (-$40/a kid).  The deadline for choosing this will be June 1st after which we will consider it a donation to the league.   

We have had some questions regarding the refunds and why we couldn’t give all the money back…so I just want to give everyone an idea.  We spent an average of $40+ per child on uniforms for each child across our league in the spring.  We order these in December along with our equipment and field supplies.  We also have many additional costs that we must pay  like insurance, permitting and a huge electricity bill from the county in December.  We have chosen to absorb many of those costs but simply couldn’t do so with the uniforms.  Again, thanks to all who chose the donation option as this gives us a little more breathing room, going forward so that we can continue to provide community baseball in South Reno.    

Jerseys:  For those who never were able get your child’s jersey/hat…your child’s manager will be coordinating the handout.  I would anticipate a window where the mangers could be at the park, handing them out when it fits their schedule but that will be up to them.  They will be in communication with you.   

Apparel Orders: League officials will be delivering the team apparel to the parents in order to keep the large gathering of a league wide pick-up off the table.  We will begin getting those out shortly so if you have moved since you placed that order…please let me know by 5/23  so that we don’t drive to your old address to drop it off.  Also if you have any special circumstances that would prohibit us from delivering to your house (like a gated community)let us know and we can strategize around that as well. 

Fall Ball: We are going to attempt to run a different type of fall ball program this year.  We will be finalizing the schedule as we get further down the road, but we are looking at starting on August 3rd playing up until fall break for the regular season and then for the upper divisions…having a 1 week playoff after fall break.  We will have more practices than usual for fall to try and help with instruction that is missing from the giant hole that the spring created. 

Our goal, depending on signups, is to have all the divisions like we would in the spring. We will be attempting to lower reg costs as compared to last fall and potentially delaying the time at which they are due so that if the VIRUS numbers turn for the worse…we have more flexibility when/if we have to shut it down again. 

We also will have more time to get our safety policies and procedures and training in place so we can do what we need to play baseball safely in the new normal.  I anticipate having signups open by mid-June.  Obviously, this situation is fluid and probably will change but we are doing the best we can to try be ready if we get the improvement we are all hoping for.   

On a personal level…This absolutely breaks my heart…especially for those of us who’s kids are 12 years old.  I have such fond memories of my last year in Washoe Little League as a child and it hurts me so much that our 12’s won’t get those memories. 

The county unlocked the batting cages and I’ve been told they don’t really care if people are playing on the fields as long as they aren’t in big groups.  Since we as a league are not sponsoring any activities…it is up to each family’s individual discretion about how they use the park.

Thank you all for being patient with us as we kept kicking the can down the road…just trying to get out on the fields.  This is the last decision we ever wanted to have to make. 

Warmest Regards,

Bodie Monroe
Washoe Little League