We continue to send well-wishes to our entire ARA family. With the release of the PA reopening plan, we at least know the sequence of events that must transpire for our community to begin to return to a new-normal, as they say. While we know families are struggling with balancing many new challenges, ARA has taken the position that….eventually…providing our community’s children with an opportunity to safely play organized youth sports is vital for them as they emerge from this situation. Although no one has the crystal ball of when this could begin in our local region, we share this FAQ to keep everyone in the loop for our rec baseball/softball contingency plans. We hope it provides more A’s than Q’s as we wait for red to change to yellow to change to …. GREEN !
1) what is the current status of ARA rec baseball/softball this season ?
-We remain in a holding pattern to see when organized youth sports get a green light to be played this summer in MontCo. ARA has formed a county-wide approach with neighboring baseball/softball league leadership to help coordinate some of the unknown logistics. ARA remains committed to eventually playing.
2) How would you base your decision to play ?
-Our chartering organization, BabeRuthLeague has advised all youth leagues to follow the guidelines of their state/local authorities. The timing further depends on when we’d receive permission from Lower Providence that permit-holders (such as ARA) can resume using the Township fields for league activities.
3) What healthy measures would be implemented in order to play the season?
We have brainstormed many wide-ranging scenarios of healthy/distancing measures that may need to be implemented at our fields for both players and adults, but once we receive official guidance from the appropriate agencies, we will share those for implementation.
4) What would the season calendar resemble ?
The current plan would be similar to the traditional ARA spring calendar, albeit slightly compacted. Practices would begin for about 2 weeks, then games would be scheduled on weeknights - largely Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday, then Saturday mornings/late afternoons, and perhaps an occasional Sunday event. This would span roughly 7-8 weeks. It could be adjusted based on emerging circumstances. In coordinating with neighboring leagues, we will prioritize rec baseball/softball for our teams, “in-house.” We also plan to try to arrange Sunday opportunities for players interested in our travel ball program…but those details are way too early to be shared yet.
5) Does ARA have a “latest cutoff date” for making a decision if it needed to cancel the season ?
No…but we are discussing how late the season could feasibly shift given the unknowns of what other activities could resume later in the summer and what other youth sports [such as football/soccer] plan to do with their late summer conditioning start-up in August/early Fall.
6) What if the season is inevitably cancelled by ARA ?
If this unfortunately happened, we’d fully refund everyone’s registrations, store uniforms and consumable supplies until the spring of 2021. Sponsors would be fully honored for that future season. We’d then consider some type of a fall ball option to offer for players interested, depending on the future status of the county/region.
7) What if we’d like to just unenroll – our anticipated family summer plans are packed with other events…do we get a refund ?
We are hopeful that families would stay onboard with us so kids could participate in at least some events with their peers. ARA does have an official refund policy which states full refunds will be honored up to the player draft. Our league had pre-purchased almost everything for the season, including uniforms and supplies prior to the original 2-week shutdown of MontCo back in mid-March. Since we are currently still planning to play, requests to unenroll would receive a ½ refund.
In our older divisions which incorporate umpire costs in its registration fees, we are formulating a $ discount back to families since there may be fewer games scheduled than traditionally planned.
In the meantime, stay healthy and stay safe as we all await more updates.