Plans are moving forward for Hewlett-Woodmere Little League to begin its 2020 season sometime within the first two weeks of July with 10 teams across several age levels.
“We’ve had several board meetings and are still in the process of discussing how to get the season going,” league Vice President Richard Kahn said. “It’s tricky how we’re going to work everything out, but right now we’re expecting to have 10 teams with about a dozen kids per team.”
Kahn said he wasn’t surprised when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced some youth sports can begin in early July as part of the Phase 4 reopening in Nassau County, as long as the coronavirus statistics continued to meet the criteria. “Young people can engage in sports [with] two spectators per child, so that’s another step toward return to normalcy,” Cuomo said at his June 14 press conference.
Baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country and crew will be allowed once Phase 3 begins, which in Nassau is expected to be the week of July 6. Typically, Little League baseball and softball open during the first week of April.
In mid-March, the Little League International Board of Directors advised programs across the country to delay their seasons until at least May 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite that timeframe increasing week by week, Kahn said he kept a watchful eye on the news and was optimistic a season could happen at some point.
“Anyone who registered could get a refund, minus the cost of the uniform and pick up the uniform, or transfer their sign-up fee to a summer or fall program.,” Kahn said.
The league has permits for North Woodmere and Grant Park, Monday through Thursday nights, he said. Ideally, teams would play 12 games over a span of 8 weeks. “Safety is our most important concern,” Kahn said.
In addition to limiting spectators, Kahn said additional safety measures will be taken such as where to position umpires and catchers, no sharing of equipment and providing hand sanitizers. “We’re moving forward with plans, just not full speed forward,” he said.
Little League International, which operates more than 6,500 programs in 84 countries, has a season resumption guide posted on its website: www.littleleague.org.