Update: Monday, June 22, 2020

COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES

Dear South Wall Little League families,

I hope you all are doing well.  First, I want to thank you for your patience and your dedication to our kids, South Wall Little League (SWLL), and our community over the past few months.  These are unique times, to say the least.  Your compliance in following the guidelines set forth by the state and our local municipality has allowed us to begin opening up our community and resume baseball and softball in the near future.  I want to take this opportunity to communicate our plans to safely return to the fields.

On June 15th, the N.J. Department of Health (NJDOH) issued guidance for outdoor organized sports.  The guidance is intended to guide organizations that oversee sports activities as they resume operations to ensure the health and safety of staff, participants, and their families. Under the guidance, baseball and softball have been deemed “Medium Risk” sports, with practices allowed to commence June 22nd and games to commence July 6th.  Additionally, the guidance requires sports programs to create a “program preparation plan” to help ensure a safe return to the field.

As such, over the past week, the SWLL Board of Directors has worked diligently to design and implement our SWLL Program Preparation Plan (“The Plan”).  The Plan outlines guidance on safety plans, protocols, and precautions that will be in effect at the SWLL complex for this season.  It will supersede the COVID-19 guidelines communicated by SWLL on June 8th.  In order for the Plan to be effectively executed, I ask for your cooperation and patience with and attention to all elements included within the Plan.  If we all work together to adhere to the guidance, we can ensure that our kids can return to the fields this summer in a safe manner, while of course having fun!  The plan, including relevant attachments, can be found by clicking here. After reviewing our Plan, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

It is our goal to commence practice the week of June 22nd.  In order to begin practices, we must first have all elements of our Plan implemented, including facility preparation and supplying each team manager with the required materials.  The respective league commissioners or managers will be contacting the individual team member families regarding practice start dates.  I am extremely proud to say that although we are in very unique times, we have over 200 children registered between baseball and softball for this season.  This is a testament to your patience and support of SWLL and our community.  Thank you for this.

Finally, I want to thank my Board of Directors for their hours of work behind the scenes in order to make this season possible.  Their efforts will allow our kids to play America’s greatest pastime, baseball and softball!  Let’s get ready to get back on the field and play ball!

Take care and see everyone soon,

Chris Ferrante
South Wall Little League President


Update: Monday, June 8, 2020

COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES

Dear SWLL Families:

The SWLL board of directors is happy to announce that baseball and softball will resume this season, albeit on a revised schedule.  We want to stress that the board’s primary concern in getting the season started is the safety of our players, coaches, umpires, and spectators.*  In that regard, the board has determined that the following safety precautions will be required while players are participating in activities at the SWLL complex.  Both the mandatory and encouraged precautions are necessary in order to ensure the safety of everyone visiting the SWLL complex and their families.  The board will continue to follow all federal (CDC), state (Department of Health), and local little league guidance regarding player and spectator safety.  This guidance, of course, is subject to change upon changes in federal, state, or local rules.

*Enforcement of all rules during practices and games will be the responsibility of the team coaches and overseen by league officials.

PLAYERS

Mandatory requirements:

  • 6-foot distancing when not on the field of play;
  • No more than 4 players/coaches in the dugout at any time.  Batting team may have 3 players and a coach in the dugout and remaining players will be required to maintain 6-foot distancing either behind the dugout or along the sidelines or on bleachers.  Infield bleachers will be reserved for player seating-only;
  • Players/parents must conduct a daily symptom self-assessment prior to any game/practice.  If a player is not feeling well, please do not come to the field and notify the coach of absence;
  • Players must apply league-supplied hand sanitizer when entering or leaving the dugout/field of play;
  • No sharing of food or drinks.  All players must bring their own drinks/snacks (keeping all teammate food allergy considerations in mind);
  • Players may not share equipment.  Gear and equipment may only be used by the owner of the equipment.  Gear/equipment should be sanitized regularly before and after play;
  • No spitting/chewing seeds, gum or other similar products;
  • Players/coaches shall refrain from celebratory physical contact with each other or opposing team on or off the field of play;
  • Players/coaches utilizing batting cages will be required to maintain 6-foot distancing at all times.  Players waiting to hit must maintain the proper distance from other players.  Players may not share equipment in the batting cages. Each player must have his/her own bat.

Encouraged actions:

  • Players should wear face coverings while not in the field of play;
  • Frequent hand washing/sanitizing during game and practices;
  • Keep equipment separate from other players’ equipment as much as possible.

COACHES

Mandatory requirements:

  • Must maintain 6-foot distancing at all times;
  • Must wear face-covering at all times;
  • Coaches must conduct a daily symptom self-assessment prior to any game/practice.  If a coach is not feeling well, please do not come to the field and find another coach to cover;
  • Coaches are responsible for ensuring all players and spectators are adhering to Covid-19 precautions including required social distancing and other guidelines mentioned here;
  • Coaches shall maintain their own lineup cards and must post lineup on outside of dugout visible to other team and umpires.  There shall be no physical exchange of lineup cards between teams or umpires.  Any changes to lineup must be verbalized to the umpire and other team and lineup card must be adjusted to reflect all lineup changes;
  • No spitting/chewing seeds, gum or other similar products;
  • Players/coaches shall refrain from celebratory physical contact with each other or opposing team on or off the field of play.

SPECTATORS

Mandatory requirements:

  • Must maintain 6-foot distancing from all non-family members at all times;
  • Spectators may view games from the outfield, maintaining proper distancing;
  • May not enter player areas, dugouts, sidelines, sideline bleachers or behind backstops.  Spectators may sit in outfield either on the sideline (in marked areas) or beyond outfield fencing;
  • All spectators visiting the SWLL complex must conduct a daily symptom self-assessment prior to attending any game/practice.  If a spectator is not feeling well, please do not come to the field;
  • All playground and other equipment is off-limits and will be cordoned-off.

Encouraged actions;

  • Wear face coverings at all times while at the SWLL complex;
  • Hand washing/sanitizing before, during and after attendance at the SWLL complex;
  • Bring your own seating in lieu of bleachers.  Infield bleachers will be unavailable to spectators.

Please be advised that all shacks will be closed for the duration of this season (until further notice) and all playground equipment will be closed.  Bathrooms at the complex will be open but hand washing and social distancing protocols (at least 6 feet apart and only one person in the bathroom at a time) are strongly encouraged.  SWLL will do it’s best to maintain sufficient supplies of hand soap and hand sanitizer in bathrooms.


Update: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear South Wall Little League Families,

As you may know, youth sports are set to resume on June 22nd, so we are thrilled to announce that baseball and softball are back and South Wall Little League is gearing up for a modified spring/summer season!

We are opening registration back up briefly for any players (ages 4-14) who are eager to get out and get swinging again. Please visit https://www.southwalllittleleague.com/registration/ to sign up now through Friday, 6/12/20.

Our 2020 modified season schedule will commence with practices the week of 6/22, and games will be played from mid-July through the end of August. Local safety guidelines will be closely monitored and followed!

We hope you will join us on our newly upgraded and enhanced fields at the SWLL complex! If you were already registered for the Spring season, simply respond to the Teamsnap survey that was sent this morning confirming your attendance moving forward. Otherwise, please visit our site to register asap this week so we can form teams and get rosters set.

As a safety precaution, the shack will not be open for the season.  Bond check need not be mailed in.  Please make sure to bring your own drinks and snacks when you come to the fields.

Thank you for supporting South Wall Little League and we look forward to our upcoming season!

Play Ball!


Update: Friday, May 15, 2020

Dear South Wall Little League Families,

The South Wall Little League Board has been diligently working on contingency plans for the commencement of our spring season. While there is still much uncertainty regarding when or if we will be able to play ball late this spring/summer, it is still our goal to play, and we want to provide provisional schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to plan accordingly for the restart of the season.

Commencement of league operations: South Wall Little League will continue to monitor guidance provided by both Little League, the district, as well as Governor Murphy’s office with respect to options for the resumption of youth sports activities.  As of now, we are targeting early June to reassess options for a spring/summer season for league activities.  Our preliminary plan is as follows:

  • The season will consist of one to two weeks of practices followed by an abbreviated season of games, taking us into the summer.
  • We will gauge interest from our neighboring leagues to explore the option of inter-league play, provided logistics permit such activities.
  • In the event that restrictions are held in place longer than anticipated, we will implement an accelerated schedule as time allows.  The league will provide additional detail on this as we get closer to a start date.
  • Based on our reassessment of the overall situation in early June, if it’s determined that league operations cannot commence, the spring season will be canceled in its entirety.

These schedule scenarios are provisional.  South Wall Little League will continue to follow the guidance of local/state officials.  We will NOT begin our spring season until it is safe to do so, as we have the well-being of our participants, coaches, officiants, and fans in mind when evaluating options.  There may be additional play requirements for athletes, umpires, coaches, and parents.  Discussions relating to additional safety measures are ongoing and any final determinations will be guided by Little League, the district, state and local officials, and the SWLL board.

Financial considerations: South Wall Little League is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit organization. We receive no funding from Wall Township or Monmouth County for the operation of our league or maintenance of/improvements to our complex. A significant portion of our league’s annual revenue is generated through concession sales, field rentals, and business sponsorships, none of which we are earning at this time. Simply stated, we need baseball/softball games to be played in order to maintain the complex, pay our bills, and continue to serve future generations of Little Leaguers.  Even in the face of our spring season being in jeopardy, SWLL is making considerable investments in our playing fields (particularly, fields 3 and 8) to improve the playing conditions of the fields, providing high-quality fields for our youth participants to enjoy for years to come.  This was an initiative we discussed and planned before this unanticipated situation impacted our season.  We are honoring our commitment to continuously improving the quality of the fields we call home during baseball season.

We appreciate the challenges that all of us are facing during this unprecedented situation.  We fully understand if you decide that your child will no longer be able to participate in the provisional spring season, and would like to request a refund of 2020 registration fees.

Refund or credit requests can be made on our website at the following address:
https://www.southwalllittleleague.com/spring-2020-refund-request/

The following 3 options are available on the form:

  • SWLL can provide a full refund for the 2020 season via a refund through TeamSnap (to the card that was used for the registration fees).
  • SWLL can apply your spring 2020 registration fees towards 2020 fall ball.
  • SWLL can apply your spring 2020 registration fees towards 2021 spring.

Thank you all for your continued patience and support. This is an extended “rain delay” like none we have ever experienced.  We look forward to hearing the umpires yell “Play Ball!” at our fields again very soon. Please take care and be well.

Sincerely,

South Wall Little League Board of Directors

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