Dear Big Willow Baseball Community,
As fellow parents, we at the Big Willow Baseball Association know this outbreak has been stressful to many, and recognize that exercising and participating in activities like sports can be a healthy way to cope with stress and connect with our community. After careful thought and planning, we are excited to let you know that we plan to resume practices, while following CDC and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) considerations to protect players, families, and our community.
As you know, our primary focus has and always will be on the safety of our players, coaches, immediate and extended family members, as well as our community as a whole. We pride ourselves in our tight baseball community and we have prioritized the safety of that community above all else.
With this, we will separately be providing Big Willow families with guidelines based on recommended best practices for “Return to Practice” as developed for other community youth baseball organizations, and in alignment with Governor Tim Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-56, “Safely Reopening Minnesota’s Economy and Ensuring Safe Non-Work Activities during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency”. We are also working with the City of Minnetonka on the review and approval of these guidelines in order to open up the fields for use.
Consistent with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health for youth sports, the focus of the Big Willow programming will be on skill development, and has been designed to keep any “play” or interaction between players contactless. Further, within the program, consistent “pods” of the same youth players, staff and volunteers, with a maximum number of 10 people in each pod will be used (there will be no intermixing between pods).
With this, we are planning on the start of the 2020 spring baseball season at Big Willow park the week of July 6th, and which will extend the end of the season until mid-August. We still expect to communicate a decision on the specifics of the delayed season around June 19, and which will include additional safety guidance for returning to practice.
At this time, the Governor's office has only approved practices for those leagues that have sufficient safety protocols in place, and has not approved games being played by youth sports organizations. A separate decision will be made by the board on the association's "Return to Play", and additional guidance will be provided at that time (including potential participation in MBL/Gopher summer league).
Lastly, on the administrative side, for those families who have opted not to participate this season and obtain a refund, these will be processed in the upcoming days (you will receive a separate communication confirming this).
Please reach out to Trevor Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Thank you, Big Willow Community, for your understanding of the situation and support of the Board’s decision.
Please continue to help your families stay safe this summer, and we look forward to seeing all of you at Big Willow in just a few weeks.
Big Willow Board
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