News and Announcements

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June 29, 2020 UPDATE: Youth baseball and softball will be able to start playing games in Phase 3 of the State’s reopening plan! As Governor Raimondo announced earlier this week, games can be played in phase 3 – between teams, both within and out of Rhode Island, with no limit on overall group size, and spectators will be allowed at games, with social distancing and masks as reflected in the Governor’s guidance documents. For South Kingstown Little League, this means that our divisions that have been practicing this past month will now be able to play games when phase 3 begins, hopefully next week!

Our Seniors, Juniors, Majors and Minors baseball and softball divisions have all been practicing these past weeks, optimistic that games would be able to be played starting in July. So we are thrilled that our players will be able to play soon, with the season running until mid-August. The SKLL board and division coordinators have been working hard to come up with game schedules and a COVID-safety plan so our players will continue to be safe out on the field, whether during practices or games. A few important things to note:

  • You will hear directly from your team’s manager with your player’s game schedule.
  • As part of the uniform, all players have received an activewear face covering to be worn as outlined in the Governor’s guidelines. The coverings have been purchased by SKLL and can be worn over the face when needed and left around the neck while playing. It was important for us to provide something the players could keep on them throughout the game. This will minimize the opportunity for players to lose them while playing and mitigate the possibility of cross-contamination. During Phase 3, the face-covering is not required during the game as long as they are in the field of play or can maintain 6 feet of distance. We ask your player to wear these every time they come to a game.
  • All spectators and visitors to the fields must also wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet distance from non-family members.
  • Players cannot share equipment such as gloves or helmets. Players are encouraged to use their own bat, but team bats will be provided and wiped down after each use.
  • SKLL has prepared a Covid-19 Safety Plan for Games specific to our League that will be in place for our players, coaches and volunteers so that families will continue to be assured of a safe return to Little League baseball and softball games.
  • Concession stand may operate based on the safety plan submitted by the operator.

We welcome any questions regarding these guidelines and our policies moving forward. Please feel free to email us at info@skll.org or check with your team manager if you have any questions. Thank you all for your patience as we continue through this most unprecedented time. We hope you know the welfare and safety of all players in our league is of the utmost importance to us and we appreciate your ongoing support as we kick off the next part of the season. We look forward to seeing our SKLL families at a game soon!

The document SKLL_Covid_Safety_Plan_-_GAMES.pdf was attached to this post.

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05-30-2020: Season update for Juniors, Seniors, Majors & Minors Baseball and Softball! Since the Governor announced June 1st as the official date youth sports can begin, we are waiting for confirmation from the town that we can begin practices on Saturday, June 6th, with games proposed to begin July 1st and the season running until mid August. A few important things to note:

  • You will hear directly from your team’s manager this week with your player’s practice schedule.
  • After Monday, June 8th, players will no longer be able to opt-out for a refund. The rosters are set for each team, and since our season is starting later than usual, we appreciate your player’s commitment to the season which will span most of the summer. Since camps, activities and beaches will all be opening around the same time, we want to make note that your player’s commitment to the team is important and players must be present as often as possible to be fair to their teammates, coaches and managers since the team relies on all players at practices and games.
  • As part of the uniform, all players will receive a face covering to be worn as outlined in the Governor’s guidelines. The face-covering is not required when players are in the field of play but is required anytime they are not actively playing. We ask your player to wear these anytime they come to practice.
  • SKLL has purchased activewear face coverings for all players to ensure consistency and safety. The coverings we purchased can be worn over the face when needed and left around the neck while playing. It was important for us to provide something the players could keep on them throughout the practice or game. This will minimize the opportunity for players to lose them while playing and mitigate the possibility of cross-contamination. All players will receive one as part of their uniform.
  • All spectators and visitors to the fields must also wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet distance from non-family members.
  • We are also recommending each player have his/her own helmet this year. If that is not possible for you, we will have helmets to loan out.
  • Players cannot share equipment such as gloves or helmets. Players are encouraged to use their own bat, but team bats will be provided and wiped down after each use.

SKLL is utilizing the published CDC guidelines (linked here) for youth sports which was recognized Thursday by Governor Raimondo, as well as Little League’s best practice guidance (linked here) and we have prepared the following safety plan specific to our League that will be in place for our players, coaches and volunteers so that families will be assured of a safe return to Little League baseball and softball.

SKLL COVID-19 Safety Plan for Practices

  • Each field will be limited to a maximum of 15 persons (including players and coaches) at a given time.
  • Practice times on weekends at the same field will be spaced by 30 minutes to allow the field space to completely clear out prior to the next team arriving. During the week, there will be only one late afternoon/evening practice held on each field.
  • Parents/Guardians will be instructed to remain in their vehicles during drop-off and pick-up from practices. The team managers will safely dismiss the players to the parents when the practice is complete.
  • Players are not to attend practice if they are sick. Players will screened each time they arrive for practice and asked if they are not feeling well and/or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19. SKLL will also follow contact tracing guidelines from the State and will keep a log with the date/times/location/player and coach names in attendance at each practice. Should a player become sick, please contact your team’s manager and let him/her know.
  • Face Masks will be worn by all coaches and players. Players will not wear masks during active play. SKLL has purchased activewear face protection for all players and coaches.
  • Dugouts will not be used during practice. Players will have a designated “station” outside of the fence along the respective 1st/3rd baseline, 6 feet apart from each other where their gear can be placed during practice.
  • Managers/Coaches will be provided with an ample supply of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, which have been purchased by SKLL, to have at each practice.
  • No Sunflower Seeds (spitting not allowed), gum chewing or food will be allowed at practices.
  • Equipment: Personal equipment will not be shared between players. Any team equipment used will be wiped down or sprayed with disinfectant once a player is done using said equipment.
  • Each player will have their own personnel labeled water bottle not to be shared.
  • No team huddles will be allowed.

Once we move closer to in-house game play (Governor’s Phase III) we will have an additional safety plan addressing other pertinent components that we will share with our SKLL families. We welcome any questions regarding these guidelines and our policies moving forward. Please feel free to email us at info@skll.org or check with your team manager if you have any questions.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through this most unprecedented time. We hope you know the welfare and safety of all players in our league is of the utmost importance to us and we appreciate your ongoing support as we start the season. We look forward to seeing you all again on the field very soon!

May 23, 2020… UPDATE: As the State phased re-opening continues to evolve and new information is presented from the CDC, we are optimistic that we can safely begin a return to the baseball and softball fields for our older players (Minors divisions and above) around June 8th. Our Board of Directors has been working very closely with Town Officials and the Recreation Commission to put forth a time line for a return to the field that will comport with CDC, State and Town safety guidelines, as well as State and Local phasing requirements. We are excited at the potential of restarting the season, as we know this would be a positive mental, physical and social experience for our players and families alike. Thus far, SKLL has received favorable feedback from various members of the Town Recreation Commission for our continuing efforts to pursue possibilities for baseball and softball during the late spring/summer months. In addition, Town Officials have acknowledged the depth and detail of our preliminary safety plans that have been presented by the SKLL Board of Directors to date.

Again, it is our hope that the baseball and softball fields may open in South Kingstown on or around June 8th, at which time the baseball and softball divisions mentioned above could begin some level of practicing. In addition, it is also our understanding at this time that should the phasing plan for re-opening in RI continue to advance on schedule, the Town could possibly allow for local in-house games to begin at the end of June or beginning of July. Given this schedule, we would propose a game schedule for the respective divisions that could run until approximately the end of July or first week of August. Again, we want to emphasize that this plan is based on the best available information to us at this time and is subject to change if different guidance is mandated at the State and Local levels.

Furthermore, the return to play will come with a very specific, detailed and creative safety plan with guidance for players, coaches and spectators during both practices and games. Thus far, the preliminary safety plan includes specific measures to ensure maintaining social distancing to the greatest extent possible, i.e. limited and restricted use of the dugouts, prohibited team huddles and conferences. In addition, the League and Town are planning a plethora of sanitizing and cleaning measures, i.e. installation of hand sanitizing stations at fields and/or in dugouts, and possible portable hand washing to be installed at local fields. Our League itself has already purchased hand sanitizer and wipes for each team manager for use during practice and games. These are just a few components of the safety plan we will have in place for our players, coaches and volunteers so that families will be confident that when their players are able to get back on the field, it will be as safely as possible. A full version of our safety plan will be made available to the entire League once approved at the State and Town level.

As we get closer to the start date, more information will be passed on to our registered families in these divisions. Thank you for your patience as we work through this most unprecedented time. We hope you know the welfare and safety of all players in our league is of the utmost importance to us and we appreciate your ongoing support as we get through this time together. We look forward to seeing you all again on the field soon!

May 23, 2020… TBALL, Instructional Baseball & Instructional Softball POSTPONED: As the State phased re-opening continues to evolve and new information is presented from the CDC, we have come to the unfortunate realization that our players in our T-ball, Baseball Instructional and Softball Instructional divisions will not be able to safely return to the baseball and softball fields this spring/summer. While we were optimistic all spring, after much discussion by our Board of Directors and taking into consideration the concerns raised by town officials, and the recent restrictions and guidelines put out by the state, we realize that we cannot begin any type of season for this age group anytime soon and have decided it is best to share this with all of you sooner than later. Obviously, this is a decision that no one wanted to make, but we are all in agreement that this is what is best for the health and safety of these players, families, and volunteers at this time.

Although we won’t be able to offer T-ball, Instructional Baseball or Instructional Softball this spring/summer, we do want to let our families know that we are excited to announce we are working to put a plan in place for a fall ball season for T-ball, Instructional Baseball and Instructional Softball, which is not something we’ve ever done before. We know how disappointed the players in these divisions will be, and so we have been working very closely with Town Officials and the Recreation Commission to comply with CDC, State and Town safety guidelines and state and local phasing requirements in order to be able to offer a 6 week fall ball season beginning on or about September 1st. We will of course keep you all updated as we work through a detailed and creative safety plan that will be put in place so that families will be confident that when their players are able to get back on the field, it will be as safely as possible. A full version of the safety plan will be made available to the entire League once approved at the State and Town level.

Registration fees for the spring 2020 season will be refunded automatically by June 8th for all players registered for T-ball, Instructional Baseball or Instructional Softball, and will be processed the same way that payment was initially made. As soon as we have more information on the new Fall Season for T-ball, Instructional Baseball and Instructional Softball, we will let you know.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work through this most unprecedented time. We hope you know the welfare and safety of all players in our league is of the utmost importance to us and we appreciate your ongoing support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the Board if you have any questions or concerns as we get through this time together. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!

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May 9, 2020…. Governor Raimondo has lifted the stay at home order and started Phase 1 of reopening RI… SKLL is working on a plan for the season and will be ready when the time comes for our baseball & softball players to safely get out on the field! Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted as we have new info to share. In the meantime, keep those gloves ready SKLL!