Parents, Players and Baseball Fans,
Over the past few weeks our board has met with baseball parents from the medical and legal profession, as well as myself having numerous conversations with other coaches (both baseball and other sports) and a meeting with Alex Head Coaches and our AD in regards to MSHSL and the NFHS, and we continually hope for good news so that our kids can “Play Ball”.
The guidelines by the NFHS are extensive .... to the point that 2 kids could not even play catch with each other as each player needs his own baseball and can’t touch another player’s ball. Only nine kids with a coach, all staying 6’ apart and never allowing the groups to change or intermix. Doing batting practice would require no catcher as he wouldn’t be able to touch the ball that was pitched and who ever throws batting practice would have to pick up all of the baseballs to prevent touch from other players/coaches. And the list goes on and on. Basically, it makes it impossible to do much of anything until some of these restrictions are lifted. It is extremely disappointing to all of us, but we need to follow these guidelines.
Coaching waivers we pushed back until June 15th meaning no contact with any athlete can take place until then at a minimum. When June 15th comes, all of the restrictions above are still in place. The fact that our sport includes a "ball" makes it very difficult to work around.
We are all frustrated with the “hurry up and wait some more” mode that we have constantly been in, but we have no choice. Our goal and plan is to still try to get something going when restrictions are loosened and we are allowed to do something that is considered efficient and effective. Obviously we cannot put a date on it at this time.
As always, if you have any questions please contact me.
Here are a few updates from meetings or things that have happened this week.
#1. League of cities met Tuesday and were going to wait to hear more direction from the governor when it comes to opening facilities. So as of right now Knute Nelson is closed to the public.
#2. Gov. Walz is ending stay at home order and allowing groups of 10 or less. This news will likely change #1 above, waiting to hear back.
#3. MSHSL update is allowing summer coaching waivers to be honored. This means that HS staff will be allowed to work with athletes starting on June 1st.
We are currently collecting information on some of the health precautions that we need to have in place in order to conduct any summer activity. As you can imagine, this is a intense progress with lots of questions needing to be answered.
If everything can be done in a safe manner and meets the guidelines which we are bound by it is our hope to have an in house instructional league that focuses on more skill development than games. We are leaving open the possibility of playing inter-squad games, or working with area schools to play a home away schedule if things open up more. No travel whatsoever would take place before July 1st, if any at all.
We appreciate your patience during this time. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.
As always, any questions please ask.
As we are all aware a lot of our ideas and planning moving forward is going to be greatly impacted based on the decision of a few things in the near future.
#1 Gov. Walz next announcement regarding the stay at home order will be taking place Thursday. We need to wait to hear what his next move is.
#2. The "League of Cities" is meeting this week to determine whether or not city parks will be allowed to be open. Obviously if the decision to is to close city parks that would include Knute Nelson. With that being closed, and all Dist. 206 facilities closed that leaves us with no options. Carlos would fall under that category also if the league would decide to close.
What we do know
We will not be participating in any tournaments, home or away this summer. I am in the process of cancelling all hotel rooms today. If you have made reservations I would suggest doing the same.
We have a plan in place moving forward if the news from the Govenor and the League of Cities is in our favor.
Due to summer coaching waivers that all coaches need to sign to participate in summer baseball, the earliest baseball activity can begin is June 1st. As of right now, that is the plan.
If you have any questions please let me know.
The Minnesota Legion Sub-States and directors met today and decided to cancell the 2020 MN Legion Season.
The AYBA board is meeting Monday night to disucss our plans moving forward for the possibility of baseball of some capacity this summer.
With the cancellation of high school sports yesterday lots of people's focus will now turn to summer baseball and what that will look like. Like many of you, we have many questions and are at the mercy of someone else who will make decisions when it comes to legion baseball for this summer. Below are some key points that we do know.
Note: I will continue to update this as things change. Which we all know can be very different from hour to hour. Check back periodically for any updates.
MN Legion baseball will be meeting on May 9th to determine if MN will have a Legion season this summer. It is possible they make a final decision there, or continue with another suspended time to re-evaluate again.
Can we start Legion Baseball early?
American Legion baseball has directed its sub states across the nation that no American Legion baseball activities may begin until further notice. This includes practices.
What happens if Legion baseball is cancelled?
Legion baseball is a national organization and with each team we are required to purchase insurance through American Legion Baseball. This insurance covers all players and is the sole reason rosters are limited to 18 players. If American Legion baseball is cancelled no team can play under any affiliation with American Legion. Meaning you cannot use your post name, jerseys with a patch, of participate in anything considered American Legion baseball.
Through AYBA we have separate insurance along with American Legion baseball's insurance. If this happened and we decided to go a different route, our insurance would take into effect.
Should we turn in player registrations?
At this time we are asking that you do not turn in player registrations and wait for an announcement after May 9th. If you have already turned yours in, no worries, we will hang on to it.
Are summer tournaments still on?
ND and SD have cancelled some capacity of their American Legion Seasons. ND has completely cancelled their season, meaning will will not be participating in any tournaments in ND. We are waiting to hear from SD at this time about their plan for their tournaments This affects all three of our teams.
If Fargo would decide to do their own thing and keep their tournaments going, not under American Legion baseball, we would consider going.
All other tournaments at this point are continuing as scheduled, including ours.
Can coaches have contact with players?
With the cancellation of the spring season MSHSL bylaw 208 goes back into effect. Simply put, no contact with any players for baseball related activities for coaches associated with HS program. All coaches sign a summer waiver which goes into effect June 1st which we can then resume contact. On a normal year we roll right into our Summer waiver. This year is different and presents challenges.
Hotel Rooms for Away tournaments
At this point we are not going to cancel any rooms for any tournaments including ND ones. In the event each state/community does their own thing and host their tournaments we want to make sure we still have those rooms.
As of today we are 100% planning for a American Legion baseball season and are planning accordingly. In the event that there is no season we are actively planning for a plan B that includes our players involved in baseball at some capacity this summer. Some options may be but not limited to:
- Multiple weekly practices with coaching staff for all levels
- Exhibition schedule against other teams willing to play throughout the summer
- Inter squad schedule within our own organization against our own players
All of the guidelines above need to meet the requirement that does not violate American Legion or MSHSL rules when it comes to players and coaching staff.
Finally, the upmost importance is the safety of our players. All decisions will be made with best practice in mind and making sure all players, fans, and families health are top priority.
I understand that you may still have questions. If so, feel free to call me and I will do my best to answer them.
Below is all the summer baseball forms that are needed for the 2020 summer season. Please fill out all forms and return. You can disregard having "Form 2" being signed by a Notary Public.
Any questions please ask.