As of June 30th, 5 of Silbo’s league customers, in 3 different states, have restarted games after COVID-19 closed most of the country. Many sports leagues haven’t started playing again. Some have canceled their seasons entirely. Still others are determining if they should start at all and, if so, when.
We’re sharing what we’ve learned from these restarts, postponements, and cancelations to serve as a resource to other game providers faced with the challenging decision of when, or if, to restart their games.
Of the leagues yet to return, some are waiting on governors’ orders and later phases of reopening. Many expect fewer players and teams when they do return.
Of Silbo’s customers that have resumed play, 3 are in North Carolina, 2 are in Florida, and 1 is in Colorado. These game providers range in size from small local leagues to large tournaments sanctioned by national governing bodies. There are also a variety of sports returning at the youth and adult levels including baseball, basketball, and softball. The first league to return started on June 6th and the most recent league began on June 29th. More expect to return in July.
Details about each league that returned are below including their location, start date, factors that influenced their return, and precautions they are taking. They are listed in chronological order from the date they started playing.
West Raleigh Baseball
Location: Raleigh, NC
Start Date: June 6th
West Raleigh Baseball started their season on June 6th.
On June 19th, West Raleigh Baseball announced it would follow City of Raleigh’s procolmation requiring facemasks. They would not make face coverings mandatory for players, spectators, or coaches, and highly encouraged umpires to wear face coverings.
On June 26th, WRBA sent another update about how they would operate under North Carolina’s Phase 2 extension. In this update they required all spectators and umpires to wear masks, but not coaches or players.
AAU Basketball Tournaments at The Big House
Location: Tavares, FL
Start Date: June 12th
On May 1st, AAU began lifting the suspension of their events that had been in place since March 12th. In order to resume AAU event programming in a particular area of the country, the following criteria had to be met:
- Federal Guidelines – Adhere to any federal guidelines for re-opening.
- CDC Recommendations – Follow CDC recommendations when hosting events.
- State, County and Local Municipality Regulations – Abide by state, county and local municipality requirements.
- Facility/Venue Protocols – Follow all protocols for the venue by consulting with facility management team.
- AAU District and National Sport Committee Requirements – Follow the event license agreement. For events already licensed with AAU, the event operator will need to notify the AAU of plans to host, cancel or postpone the event. The AAU national office will notify district and national sport committees respectively.
On the weekend of June 12th, AAU Basketball played a 3 day tournament on 9 courts at The Big House in Tavares, Florida (20 miles north of Orlando). They had tested a smaller event the weekend before on June 6th. In an effort to make the events as safe as possible, they implemented precautions including temperature checks to enter the building, mandatory masks inside the building, facial recognition for ticketing to allow touchless entry, and increased sanitation. You can read the full list of their COVID-19 safety precautions here. Additional events are scheduled to take place throughout the summer.
New Smyrna Beach Adult Softball
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Start Date: June 16th
The City of New Smyrna Beach, FL resumed their adult softball league on June 16th.
North Jefferson Junior Baseball Association (NJJBA) USSSA Tournaments
Location: Arvada, CO
Start Date: June 20th
On May 1st, USSSA shared POST COVID-19 Return-to-Play Guidelines, Procedures and Recommendations.
USSSA Colorado kicked off with a 2 day tournament on June 20-21. North Jefferson Junior Baseball shared recommended and mandatory guidelines for playing safely. Mandatory requirements included adhering to six-foot social distancing except when the ball is in play, daily symptom assessments by players and coaches, no shared water coolers or drinking stations, and the no touch rule – no high fives, handshakes, or other physical contact. Recommended best practices include face coverings for spectators and umpires, face coverings for coaches and players during practices, avoiding sharing equipment when possible and sanitizing if sharing is necessary, and maintaining social distancing in the dugout. You can see the full list guidelines here.
Garner Baseball, Inc.
Location: Garner, NC
Start Date: June 29th
Garner Baseball, Inc. had intended to return on June 22nd, but ended up pushing out their start date to June 29th due to rain. They are requiring all players and coaches to sign a Return to Play Waiver which covers the typical risks associated with baseball as well as the risk of being in contact with individuals who have COVID-19.