FAIRFIELD — Jefferson County Little League has canceled its baseball and softball seasons for 2020.
The Little League’s board met May 26-27 to discuss how, if at all, it could hold games this summer in light of the threat from the coronavirus.
In a Facebook post, board president Brad Boatman wrote that he was sad to announce the JCLL would not play baseball or softball this year, and that was it an “extremely difficult decision that our board has agonized over for weeks now.”
Boatman wrote that this was not how the board wanted to see the season end, and that the board members were crushed for all the kids, families, coaches, umpires and volunteers who will not get to play or participate this year. He mentioned that JCLL was not alone in this decision, and that other Little Leagues in the district have canceled their seasons as well.
The JCLL reached out for advice to public health officials, state officials, community leaders, coaches, umpires and families. They learned that, in order to have a season, the board would have to adhere to all the rules and guidelines set forth by the Little League International and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The requirements and volunteers needed to meet these standards would have been well above what we normally deal with,” Boatman wrote. “This additional workload would have been felt in all aspects of practices and games.”
The board would have to purchase a large quantity of forehead thermometers, masks, gloves, bleach, disinfectant sprays, wipes and hand sanitizer. Boatman said those items are hard to find at the moment, and even harder to find in the quantity needed. He said the lack of availability of such items, and not so much their cost, made it impossible to hold a season of games.
“All of these additional precautions, rules and guidelines would have directly affected the ability of our coaches, umpires and kids to have a fun, enjoyable and most importantly safe season,” Boatman wrote.
Those who have already paid their registration fees for the 2020 season were given the option of either a refund or donating those fees to JCLL to cover expenses such as lawn care, gear already purchased, utility bills, building upkeep and maintenance, and insurance.
“We really do hope that you all understand this was a very difficult decision to make and one that we didn’t take lightly. Thanks for your continued support,” Boatman concluded.