The games may go on for Ripon Little League, pending city approval.
While other Little League organizations in the area are shut down for 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Ripon is attempting to at least have its regular season which would last four to six weeks and consist of eight to 12 games for each team.
“We are all feeling the emptiness of not having baseball or softball in our lives,” the post stated. “This has been a very tough time for all, on so many levels.
“At this time, we’d like to offer a glimmer of hope to our players and their families. After many meetings, phone calls, and hard decisions, our board has decided to … PLAY BALL!!!”
The post added that the league’s 50/70 and Junior division teams will play as soon as early June at sites in Stanislaus County. The City’s decision mainly affects the Major and Minor divisions.
Salida Little League is also trying to launch its season but is waiting for approval from local officials. Its opening day is set for this Saturday.
Most of the other leagues in California’s District 67 have already scrapped their seasons entirely. The three in Manteca — Manteca, Northgate and Spreckels Park — had their hopes for a regular season dashed by Manteca Unified School District, which extended school closures until July 30.
All three Manteca-based leagues simultaneously announced the end to their seasons on May 5. While they are based on Manteca Unified school sites, Ripon and Salida’s leagues use parks run by their cities.
Tracy Little League followed suit in cancelling its season on May 12, as did Patterson on May 20. District 67 includes leagues in Lathrop, Mountain House and Weston Ranch.
On April 30, Little League International announced the cancellation of its annual baseball and softball World Series tournaments for the first time in the history of the organization. The Little League World Series had taken place every August since 1947, and next year’s event was going to mark the 75th year of its existence.
Prior to calling off its year-end events, Little League International suspended all activities at the local level until April 6 and then May 11.
Little League has since released a series of “best practices” guidelines for its programs to follow when they get the go-ahead from local and state governments to restart their season. Recommendations include the elimination of all non-essential contact, postgame handshakes and concession sales, while players, coaches and volunteers wear masks in dugouts while separated by six feet.