Hello SMNLL families,
We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. In recent days, we have been in communication with the City of San Mateo regarding Fall Ball and we are excited to announce that the city has issued the league field permits for the fall season!
We are ramping up our planning efforts around Fall Ball, but due the pandemic the format of the league will be different from what we all are used to, so we wanted to provide you information on how the league will be conducted. Earlier this month, California issued specific COVID-19 guidelines. In order for SMNLL to keep our field permits and remain in good standing with the city, we must format Fall Ball to adhere to these guidelines.
At a high-level, players will be divided into teams as normal, but the league will be structured as training-only with no games, and all activities must maintain social distancing guidelines. Teams will have 90-minute practices at least twice a week. There will also be protocols around face coverings, pre-practice symptom screening, post-practice cleaning, and rules against shared equipment. While traditional games will not be permitted, there may be opportunity for combined team training sessions to allow for more competitive and advanced baseball skills training.
Given the guidelines and focus the city and county will have on SMNLL and all youth sports organizations in following these guidelines, SMNLL has decided to limit Fall ball to the AA and above divisions (Baseball Age 8 - 12) to better enable our coaches to instruct and ensure their players adhere to the guidelines. We apologize for this change for our families registered for A ball, but we hope to be in a position to get our A-ballers back on the field in the spring.
For those of you who already registered for the 2020 Fall Ball season, you were placed on a waitlist as we awaited more information from the city and county. Now that we have clarity on the season, we will make these active registrations that will trigger a billing for the registration fee. For those of you who have registered your child for A ball, we will be cancelling those registrations.
If you would like to register your child for Fall Ball, you may do so on the SMNLL website. Additional background information for registration is below:
- Registration fee is $100 per player
- No proof of residency is required
- You can make buddy requests and we will do our best to accommodate these requests when creating teams
- There will be no tryouts
- Given the training-only format, team jersey purchases will not be necessary. SMNLL will provide team hats for the players
- Players should register for the division they expect to play in Spring 2021
- If you are interested in volunteering as a coach, please register on the website
COVID19 SAFETY UPDATE:
We wanted to provide you some more specifics around the COVID-19 safety protocols we will have in place to be in compliance with city and county guidelines. These guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- Temperature checks are required using a forehead thermometer immediately upon arrival to the field. Logs must be taken and may be requested by the City at any time.
- All practice drills must be conducted in a way that assures that current Social Distancing Guidelines are adhered to.
- All players and coaches must wear masks during the entire training session that are acceptable based upon current COVID-19 guidelines. Players may only take their mask off when directly involved in a practice drill where they are at least six feet away from another player or coach. Coaches must wear a mask at all times.
- Absolutely no fans or spectators may be in attendance. Parents may wait in their vehicles if they choose to.
- No games or scrimmages may take place
- A hand sanitizer station will be available at all times for all participants.
- 6 feet is the minimum allowable social distance and all drills must be designed not to violate this or any other current COVID-19 guideline required by the City and/or County.
- Existing dugouts at the fields will not be allowed for use during the training sessions. The fences along foul territory will be used to store equipment to ensure proper social distancing.
- No shared equipment will be allowed. Players should bring their own bats, gloves, and helmets. If you own catching equipment, that may be brought too if your child would like to train at that position.
SMNLL will also be holding a training session this Thursday, September 3rd at 6:30pm at Martens North, for our volunteer coaches on these protocols, provide tools to help ensure compliance, and provide recommended practice drills designed to keep the minimum allowable social distance. A separate communication will go out to coaches soon on the timing of this training session. It is mandatory that at least one coach or team representative attend this training.
While SMNLL takes our responsibility seriously as it relates to the safety of our players, coaches and other volunteers, we understand COVID-19 presents additional inherent risks to the league. As a result, we are asking participants in Fall Ball to sign this waiver prior to your first practice session. We hope you are understanding and amenable to signing this waiver.
We understand this is a different format from what we are used to, but we think it will be a valuable experience for the kids to get back on the field playing baseball. The training-only format will be a great way for those who have not been able to play much baseball since the pandemic hit to shake the rust off in a low pressure environment, and prepare for the upcoming spring season. We look forward to providing the kids with a safe and positive place to play baseball this fall.
For more information: email Errol Lolin: firstname.lastname@example.org and Gary Falzon: email@example.com