Questions about the 2020 Season?

UpdatedTuesday April 28, 2020 bySLL.

We understand that many have questions about the upcoming season. Here are some answers!

When will the season start?
The last advisory from Little League International suggests that all leagues suspend all baseball activities until Monday, May 11. Smithfield Little League is following this recommendation. Since each state is likely to implement their own unique “reopening” plan, some states may begin playing baseball before Rhode Island. The safety of players and our fans is the top priority. The league will carefully weigh state regulations, and consult with local officials before beginning the season.
 
We want to play baseball as much as you do, but we take seriously this unprecedented situation and want to be sure that we can do our part to thwart the spread of COVID-19.
 
How long will it take to get the league up and running once we’re given the all-clear and it is deemed safe?
The Smithfield Little League Board of Directors has been working tirelessly since the fall to prepare for the season. The COVID-19 situation may have delayed the start of the season, but everyone is working hard so that we start to play baseball as soon as it is safe to do so. 
 
When baseball does start, will the league take any precautionary actions?
While Little League International has not issued any guidelines, in February, as COVID-19 was affecting Europe, in anticipation of its arrival in the United States, the Board developed a number of precautionary measures that will be implemented when the season starts. These might include, but will not be limited to:
  • Encouraging players not to shake hands after a game, instead opting for an elbow bump,
  • Having ample supplies of anti-bacterial gel in the dugouts,
  • Not opening the concession stands,
  • Asking managers to disinfect helmets and other team gear after each practice or game.
  • Asking fans to continue to practice social distancing, especially those who are at-risk for COVID-19
We realize that society cannot return to “normal” as we knew it prior to COVID-19, but we will take the necessary measures to promote the safety of players and spectators.
 
What can my player do while we wait for the season to start?
Since many are stuck at home, we encourage families to play catch with their player or load a tee so they can practice hitting. Players should not pitch each day, rather keep their arms loose as they prepare for the upcoming season. Also, being outside – while practicing social distancing – is a great way to pass the time when the kids are not engaged in remote learning.
 
What can parents do to get ready for the season?
Other than playing catch or loading a tee, know that kids take their cues from parents. Instead of sharing “there won’t be a baseball season,” instead share “let’s hope there’s a baseball season because there is nothing better than watching you play baseball!”
 
Also, please consider supporting our sponsors. These are very generous individuals with businesses in Smithfield, none of whom have asked for a refund despite the financial challenges they are facing due to the pandemic. They need our support now more than ever.
 
Will the league award college and trade school scholarships to graduating seniors this year?
Absolutely. The Scholarship Committee has received applications and will soon announce those who will be awarded scholarships for their continued contributions to the league after their formal years of playing Little League. 
 
Since the fields are not in use, can families use them to play catch or have batting practice?
The Town of Smithfield has closed all recreational facilities, including baseball fields. Please do not violate this order!