News

Important information regarding the 2020 Baseball Season!

Jun 15, 2020 11:12 AM
Dan Hannon

Below you will find a message sent to everyone who has already registered for the 2020 Spring Season. The message contains information on what to expect this season and can be referenced by those interested in registering.

Hello HYBS Baseball Community:

Over the past several weeks and months, HYBS has been carefully monitoring the plans and guidelines set forth by the State of Massachusetts and the Town of Hudson with regards to reopening the State. We have remained optimistic that we would be able to play Baseball in Hudson at some point this summer. As we begin Phase 2 of Reopening Massachusetts, it appears our optimism may turn into reality. Based on the guidelines set forth for Phase 2 of Reopening Massachusetts and the anticipated guidelines that will be forthcoming with Phase 3, HYBS has set its sights on Phase 3 as the start of the 2020 HYBS Baseball season. HYBS has received notice from the Town of Hudson that, barring a setback in the State’s Reopening Plan, the Town will issue Field Permits that would go into effect concurrent with the start of Phase 3. As of today, Phase 3 is set to start on June 29th. With the anticipation of a Phase 3 start, HYBS has been working on developing rules and policies that can be put in place, so that HYBS can adhere to the guidelines.

Internally, we have had many discussions on what a season may or may not look like. We have tried to recognize the challenges to be faced and identify the capabilities and resources we have to meet those challenges. First and foremost, the fact that this season will not look like previous seasons cannot be overstated. One of the major challenges facing us is we do not know exactly what Phase 3 guidelines will look like. We believe, at worst, they will be no more restrictive than Phase 2 guidelines. At best, they may be slightly more relaxed, but will still be restrictive. We acknowledge there are many questions to be answered before now, June 29th, and beyond. Unfortunately, the information needed to answer many of those questions is not available to us yet.

The most significant factor in determining what the season will look like is the interest level among those who registered to play this spring. No doubt, for a variety of reasons, some who registered to play in the spring will not be able to play in the summer. And some, who registered to play in the spring, will be able to play this summer. Figuring out who can and who cannot play will allow us to make a more informed decision on whether proceeding with a season is feasible.

As someone who registered their child(ren) for the season that was scheduled to start back in April, we need to know whether or not your child(ren) will participate if the season is to start on June 29th. Before answering, please consider the information presented below. The guidelines listed below will likely be similar, if not the same, to the ones in place when the season starts. Guidelines may change come Phase 3 and Phase 4, but we must plan for and make decisions based on the guidelines we currently have. Any decision or recommendation put forth is being made with safety in mind.

TENTATIVE LEAGUE SCHEDULE -

June 29th - practices begin
July 6th - games begin
August 16th - last possible day of play
Given this time line, we anticipate each division having a schedule of 8-12 games.

LEAGUE-WIDE GUIDELINES (some of these may be modified once additional guidelines are set)

  • A 1:1 ratio of spectator to player
  • Players will not be required to wear face coverings while actively involved in playing. 
  • If 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained by those not actively playing (coaches, players, spectators), Face-coverings should be worn.
  • No shared equipment among players.
  • No Bathroom access at Boutwell or at any field across Town.
  • No Batting Cage use.
  • Each team will use its own league issued baseballs while it is in the field.
  • Dugouts will not be used. Players "on the bench" would be spread out down 1st and 3rd base foul territory.
  • All parents/guardians will be required to sign Babe Ruth’s Covid-19 waiver prior to their child being allowed to participate.
  • All coaches will be required to sign the Babe Ruth Covid-19 waiver prior to engaging in any coaching activities.
  • Parents/guardians will be asked to take their child(ren)’s temperature prior to arrival at the field for every game and practice.
  • Coaches will be asked to take their temperature prior to arrival at the field for every game and practice.
  • Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher must stay at home.
  • Any child, coach, or umpire appearing to be ill or symptomatic will be immediately removed from his/her game or practice.
  • Coaches will be required to disinfect equipment, including equipment bag, after each practice and game.
  • End of game handshake line replaced by “salute” from team’s respective baselines.

POTENTIAL DIVISION SPECIFIC CHANGES (some of these may be modified once additional guidelines are set)

  • No catcher at the T-Ball, Rookie, and Minor levels
  • T-Ball may be more instructional and clinic based rather than actual game play
  • T-ball parent/guardian may be required to stand with child, including on the field, to help ensure physical distancing.
  • Umpires will stand behind the mound.
  • Rosters limited to 8 players (T-Ball Division).
  • Rosters limited to 10 players (Rookie, Minor, M60, & M70 Divisions).
  • Games and practices may take place at fields not traditionally used to help prevent overcrowding at Boutwell. (Cherry Street, Moultons, Quinn).

We cannot stress enough that this season WILL be different than previous seasons and expectations should be set as such. This season will not be about winning or losing (as it never should be). It is about a return to some sense of normalcy for our child(ren). Traditional formats may be changed. Rules may be modified at any point, including during the season. Playoffs in certain divisions may or may not happen. All-star teams will not be formed. Extended family members may miss out on seeing games in person. Given all that we've been through these past couple of months, the ability for a child to step back on the field, to hear the crack of the bat or to hear pop of the ball as it enters a glove should be reward enough. Our goal remains, as stated in the HYBS Vision Statement, "to provide every youngster the opportunity to play baseball and have fun". Now, more than ever, children need to have fun.

With all of this in mind, we ask that you please reply to this email no later than 5:00pm on Friday, June 19th and let us know whether you wish to keep your child(ren)'s registration active for the upcoming season or if you would like to cancel your registration. Please include your child(ren)’s name and which division you have registered for. Those wishing to cancel will receive a full refund. It will be assumed that anyone who does not respond by the June 19th deadline wishes to have their registration cancelled and will not be considered for team placement. We do ask, however, that everyone reply.

After Friday’s 5:00pm deadline, a final determination on the feasibility of a season will be made. Once a decision has been made, you will hear from us.

We thank you for your understanding and patience while we navigate these unprecedented times. We hope it is not too long before we once again hear our two favorite words; “PLAY BALL!”

Thank you.

Sincerely, 
HYBS
Brian Bowen, League President
Dan Hannon, VP of Baseball

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