SFMSP Pre-Season Update – May 6th

Good afternoon, SFMSP members. I wanted to address everyone and get as many people up to date with what is going on with our 2020 season. Truthfully, we are still working under unique circumstances that do not allow us to make any promises. However, yesterday we participated in a conference call with the City of Sioux Falls. In that meeting, Mayor TenHaken has given us a date of May 29th, 2020, for when the City Council will vote to allow, to allow with certain accommodations, or to disallow organized league activities this year. Currently, we are not able to hold any organized gathering in Sioux Falls, and all unorganized gatherings need to be limited to ten or fewer people. Should May 29th provide our league with a green light to proceed with our season, we plan to begin the season the week of June 1st, 2020. This is an extremely quick turnaround that we need to carefully prepare for, fully knowing that our work and our time may be futile. With that in mind, here is a living game plan of what we are going to do leading up to and through the May 29th decision.

SFMSP Timeline

This is all subject-to-change.

This week:

  • The board will meet online with umpires to address their needs and will discuss potential options for getting umpires trained and to get league members’ softball bats tested and stickered.
  • The board will reach out to every manager that is currently signed up to play for 2020 and confirm their status for the 2020 season.
  • The board will continue to develop our COVID-19 plan for what changes will need to be made for our season to proceed.
    • We should be receiving updates from USA Softball and the City of Sioux Falls, and we will integrate their recommendations as needed.
  • Managers need to make arrangements to send league payments for the 2020 season.
    • Payments can be sent here: PO Box 89936, Sioux Falls, SD 57109
    • Should our 2020 season not occur, all funds will be returned to managers.
  • Managers need to get all of their rostered players to sign waivers. Players will NOT be able to play this season without a waiver signed.

Next week (week of May 11th):

  • The board will meet online again to shore up the previous week’s duties.
  • The board will most likely attend another call with Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation.
  • The board will finalize their COVID-19 plan and submit it to the City of Sioux Falls officials.
  • By Friday, May 15th, we will need a final decision from all teams regarding their intent to play in the 2020 season.

The week of May 18th:

  • The board will announce any new information that is provided.
  • The board will develop schedules based on the teams that intend to play.
  • The board and umpires will set-up and announce times/dates for softball pick-up, bat testing and check-in.
  • The board will circle back with all managers of all teams that do not have all their player waivers signed.

The week of May 25th:

  • The board will submit their league schedule to the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation board. This is required in order to be eligible for approval.
  • The board will release the league schedules IF/AFTER the city approves our ability to play.
  • Should the city not allow leagues to meet and play, we will circle back and decide how to proceed at that time.

The week of June 1st:

  • Pending approval, summer softball in Sioux Falls begins.

What can you do now?

  • If you’re a player, you can sign your waiver.
  • Parks are currently open for unorganized practice. If your group is limited to fewer than ten individuals, you can conduct batting practice and other activities. Please adhere to social distancing best practices.
  • Stay safe. We are dealing with a delicate situation here, and if we don’t do our best to protect each other, our season may never start or may be shut down prematurely.
  • If you’re not currently using your softball bats, but need to get them stickered, please give your bat to a designated individual from each team so that we can limit how many people are needed to perform bat testing.
  • If your team is needing uniforms and hasn’t ordered them yet, that is a decision that the league is going to leave up to you. Typically we’d like all teams to wear the same uniform, but this year, we are going to lift restrictions and require that only a number be worn.
  • If you have any questions, please share them to us directly via email at sfmsps@gmail.com. You can also join our Slack channel for discussion.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, each adult in our league needs to make a conscious decision about playing this year. The league is dedicated to providing a safe atmosphere for all of us to play, but we realize that nothing available to us today can protect us while playing from the virus. Mayor TenHaken has made it clear that decisions to opening up activities or the cities is not made because it’s simply safe to go outside, but rather because our medical health systems can handle the burden. We respect every adult’s decision to determine their tolerance for risk in participating in our league, and that is a safety decision that ultimately that each player needs to come to their on their own.

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