2020 youth sports what are leagues doing

BigMike

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So as baseball season is starting, and schools around the country are closing. I am really intrigued to find out what is happening to sports leagues around the country.

Is your league moving forward as scheduled? If yes, what sport, and what precautions are being taken?

In terms of whether the league goes forward, who is actually making decision ? Is it league board of directors? City officials? National orgs (ie Little League)

Obviously interested, will have to make decisions in my league soon. Debating whether I should continue with Sunday trips to batting cages, etc
 

Tangled Up In Red

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From SF Rec & Park (about 33 minutes ago):
  • All San Francisco Youth Baseball League (SFYBL) games and practices are cancelled through March 31.
  • The remainder of the Indoor Soccer League season is cancelled, including games. scheduled for March 15 and March 22
  • Summer day camp registration, originally scheduled for March 21, is postponed. Date TBD.
 

InstaFace

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NYC-region ultimate frisbee: all youth leagues halted as of yesterday through at least 3/19, and if I were to bet I'd say weeks longer. Adult organized pickup and rec leagues suspended. The league seasons are not yet cancelled. Numerous schools particularly in westchester and NJ closed as of now, likely for at least a few weeks. There's a regional volunteer-led organizing nonprofit, whose Board has been making these decisions (one member of it is a professional epidemiologist, so there are no cavalier voices in the room).

NYC Parks & Rec hasn't yet sent anything about field and court closures, it would likely be ordered at the city level rather than be Parks-imposed. I've gotten a lot of notifications from them and related state-backed entities (Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hudson River Parks, state parks, etc) saying they're monitoring the situation and here's-what-will-happen-if-we-close, etc.

Pittsburgh: HS leagues postponed through 3/23, re-evaluated then. Schools teetering on decisions of closing. The school I coach just (5 minutes ago) made the decision to close tomorrow, so as a result we're not going to hold practice while their school is not in session (kinda defeats the purpose of the school district's closure, which we should respect). No idea wtf parents are supposed to do to keep working. Decisions probably ratified by the Board here, but in practice the executive director is super on top of all her shit so I'm assuming it was basically her call.

Nationally: USA Ultimate has cancelled all sanctioned events through 4/20 (so, the next 5 weeks including what would've been the first round of the college national championship tournament). This includes what is traditionally the heart of the college season, which makes sense in light of the number of colleges that are finishing their semesters remotely online and just not re-convening from spring break. The college division is the largest division of play nationally, so I'm sure that was a decision that hurt to make, but really with the schools effectively closed and students not around each other, it was the only decision to make.
 

brandonchristensen

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Little League postponed across the country. Our league took a hot second, but finally tonight postponed to at least April 6th. It's weird because we have played one season game, and now stopping. Sad.
 

wiffleballhero

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The winter, end of the season basketball tournament got cancelled last night. Sort of a bummer. My 12YO and her cohort has won their age group the last couple years, and this third year would have closed the book on that league before moving on to school sports next year.

For the spring youth soccer that I coach, this is probably the best possible window. We've just finished a ten week indoor thing, and now we have a bit of a gap before we can get on the grass outside. Even if things were normal, we'd be off until after Easter. Spring school sports are a whole other thing. I am in NY. I think we're going to get the grim news this Sunday in our district.
 

nayrbrey

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Mass Youth Soccer suspending all team activities until April 15th. We were already doing practices indoor at a Seacoast United Facility, and they have closed their programs for at least the next two weeks.
 

Humphrey

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Mass Youth Soccer suspending all team activities until April 15th. We were already doing practices indoor at a Seacoast United Facility, and they have closed their programs for at least the next two weeks.
God willing they get to start again on that date. If so, ironically, if you go back to the old days, that's around when spring seasons in most sports would have started. Artificial turf has made playing right after the February break possible most years.
 

Cumberland Blues

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My son's school (in NW Vermont) just canceled all extra curriculars through March 31, with a decision on whether or not spring sports happens or not to be made then. My kid lives for baseball - he's going to be heartbroken if the HS season is cancelled.
 

Heinie Wagner

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Our travel basketball leagues canceled as soon as CIAC (CT state High Schools) canceled, which was just before the NCAAs canceled.

AAU is suspending everything for at least the next 3 weeks.
The first two live periods for EYBL are canceled.

This is a huge deal if you are a HS kid who wants to play college basketball, especially if you're a junior and have D1/scholarship potential. Also huge for the guys who make money off AAU.
 

Just a bit outside

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Colorado cancelled all high school athletics through April 6th. My son’s AAU team postponed tryouts and my daughter had her competitive gymnastics season cancelled.
 

PaSox

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Live in Northeast Pa...Little League International shut down until May 11 as of this evening. PIAA the governing body of high school sports in the state suspended its boys and girls state basketball tournaments until at the least March 30..They are currently in the quarterfinal round. Evaluating based on what state, government is doing. Don't want to make any decisions going forward. Local Division 3 college conference shut down all spring sports for the remainder of the academic year.

High School baseball coaches were told by no means any sort of workouts should be held. Not allowing anyone on high school campuses. Ruling also includes "captains practices" where team would try and find another field to hold a practice without any coaches in attendance. Also, all indoor training facilities were shuttered today for at least two weeks.


As a side note and I don't know it it belongs here, (and can be deleted or removed if so), but I will find it interesting in regards to the NCAA blanket waiver in regards to eligibility for spring sports student-athletes especially at Division 3. If seniors choose to come back based on academic schedules, could be looking at baseball teams with a roster of close to 40 based on number of incoming freshmen as well as seniors that want to get that final year in.
 

Humphrey

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So many scenarios that might happen when sports are able to start again. School will end later and many won't go on vacation for a number of reasons. People will be looking to fill in the idle time their kids will have.
 

riboflav

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Sports at the youth and high school level won't restart until there's a vaccine. They are inherently non-essential activities. They are also big group activities. No play until there's a vaccine. I'm a varsity basketball coach. I don't expect to be on the sidelines again until winter 21-22. The level of play will be horrifying after almost two years of no competitive play.
 

Plympton91

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Sports at the youth and high school level won't restart until there's a vaccine. They are inherently non-essential activities. They are also big group activities. No play until there's a vaccine. I'm a varsity basketball coach. I don't expect to be on the sidelines again until winter 21-22. The level of play will be horrifying after almost two years of no competitive play.
That’s a horrific scenario.

If we really do try to close everything down for 18 months, then the only sport that will be restarting is Thunderdome.

If youth and high school sports are shut down, then colleges should be as well. And lack of college sports, means no college scholarships. And that will have big racial and class disparate impacts.

I also better not see a situation where the big-revenue boys’ sports get to play on TV contracts with empty arenas, and the other boys and almost all girls are told their sports aren’t essential enough to be played in front of small crowds of family members.
 

riboflav

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Just ain't gonna happen till there's a vaccine. Especially where I coach in No. VA. Parents aren't going to be ok with their kids playing with other possibly infectious kids. Administrators aren't going to risk the health and safety of their student athletes. Heck, chances are decent there won't be in-person schooling either.

Businesses will slowly start to get going again in 6-8 weeks - retail, restaurants, etc. with certain restrictions in place.

But,

Cruise ships
Casinos
Concerts
Sports

ain't happening for a long, long time or until there's a vaccine. Maybe pro sports find a path to come back sooner but not any time before what... Jan 2021? The NFL sure as hell ain't kicking off in Sept. without a vaccine.
 
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PaSox

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Still here in Pennsylvania and the PIAA, the governing body of high school athletics still has not canceled the state basketball playoffs. Last game was played on March 10 and we are only in the quarterfinal round. Quite honestly, the spring sports season is in severe jeopardy and there are people across the state still hoping they find a way to finish the state basketball tournament....Target date for return to school is supposedly April 13...Quite honestly I do not see that happening.
 

Cumberland Blues

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Vermont is keeping schools closed for the rest of the academic year...which surely means no HS baseball. The Vermont Principals Association (sports governing body) has not cancelled spring sports yet, but only because they are holding out (foolish) hope that the governor will reconsider and open schools at some point. My HS catcher son was beside himself last night when school was closed for the year...he considers the VPA stance on spring sports a cruel tease.
 

PaSox

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I feel your son's pain...As a double whammy for me, I am a sports writer for our local paper so I have no "live" sports to cover and have been shifted over to helping out with news as well as balancing some sports features..Unfortunately, the area I live in has had two deaths this week because of the virus. ..Fortunately we have enough local angles from my beats from high school kids losing their games, to kids that have gone away to play college baseball that will receive an extra year of eligibility to a few pro ball players who have told me a few things that I could not post on here because I have "no links"...But I truly feel for you son...Hopefully he is not a senior...To think what these seniors in high school are missing out on just crushes me...Hope all is well and you and your family remain safe..
 

InstaFace

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ain't happening for a long, long time or until there's a vaccine. Maybe pro sports find a path to come back sooner but not any time before what... Jan 2021? The NFL sure as hell ain't kicking off in Sept. without a vaccine.
I wish I could bet substantial amounts of money towards charity against this, because if need be (and need won't be), President Trump himself will intervene to make sure that FOOTBAW! continues, even if only on TV. They would sooner have all the players' families go on total isolation quarantine along with those of every coach and support personnel in each team, for a month prior to the opening of training camp and then through the entire season, than they would delay the season by even a week. I mean, shit, the teams already travel to away games via private charter flight as it is.

As for youth and college sports, if you've got kids attending school live in-person together, then there's really no incremental harm to them playing sports together as well. Confined indoor spaces and much broader population for school classes, vs self-segregating groups running around in space outside for sports. And simple economic necessity of getting parents back to work will force the schools to reopen at some point, perhaps with occasional 2-3 week closures but not for any 18 months. The same argument won't apply to colleges, so no idea what happens there - sit in mom's basement watching lectures streamed online, probably - but I don't see any way schools are open for the educatin' business and not for after-school activities. Maybe, maybe, they just play among the school's own kids rather than playing interscholastically, but they'll be out there playing.
 

Heinie Wagner

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Peak mid-April. We'll be back to "normal" by July. Normal might be different than it was before this started, but we'll have football this fall.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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I agree with those predicting a Spanish flu like October "bounce," although not to the extent of the Spanish Flu. That could put wrench into a smooth fall sports season.

I agree that if they are having in person school, there's no valid reason to ban school sports. Except perhaps for the kissing team.
 

riboflav

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The valid reason is that sports unlike academics are not essential.

Here, all sports activities have been cancelled through June. The discussion has begun to cancel all camps in July. Football and other fall sports tryouts begin the first week of August. Yes, it's already been suggested to come up with contingency plans for fall sports.

I don't know what to tell you. Where I live (highly educated, affluent area) parents are not going to send their kids to school or to play football if there's still a decent, even smallish, risk of catching the virus which of course there will be barring a small miracle.

EDIT: Very late edit. One of the major issues raised among all the stakeholders in this area has been if gyms and facilities remain closed, how long do they have to be open before it is safe for athletes to participate in tryouts and practices? In other words, athletes must be meet certain conditioning levels in order to participate. With everything shut down, how long will it take to ramp back up (athletes working out) and then begin regular tryouts, etc.?
 
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Matty005

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MIAA voted today and the plan is is to have the High School spring season be from May 4th - June 27th. That won't happen, but I am glad they didn't cancel it yet. A tough time for seniors already - at least give them a little hope right now.
 

riboflav

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China, which is now about 4-plus months (at least) into this and took draconian measures to stop the spread, just had to shut down up to 800 movie theaters again.


I keep thinking of it this way. In a few months a lot can change (like a really effective antiviral is discovered and mass produced) but odds are that a lot won't change. Maybe we have tracing but man that brings up a lot of ethical and legal issues. So barring any major changes and what we know of the virus at this point, would I be feel comfortable walking into a crowded restaurant or movie theater? Would I be ok with my kid returning to school or team baseball? Am I going to be ok with my wife leaving on a plane for a 3000-person business conference? It's hard to imagine any of this happening before a vaccine, or maybe, a really good antiviral or tight government-controlled tracing.
 

Saints Rest

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I wish I could bet substantial amounts of money towards charity against this, because if need be (and need won't be), President Trump himself will intervene to make sure that FOOTBAW! continues, even if only on TV. They would sooner have all the players' families go on total isolation quarantine along with those of every coach and support personnel in each team, for a month prior to the opening of training camp and then through the entire season, than they would delay the season by even a week. I mean, shit, the teams already travel to away games via private charter flight as it is.

As for youth and college sports, if you've got kids attending school live in-person together, then there's really no incremental harm to them playing sports together as well. Confined indoor spaces and much broader population for school classes, vs self-segregating groups running around in space outside for sports. And simple economic necessity of getting parents back to work will force the schools to reopen at some point, perhaps with occasional 2-3 week closures but not for any 18 months. The same argument won't apply to colleges, so no idea what happens there - sit in mom's basement watching lectures streamed online, probably - but I don't see any way schools are open for the educatin' business and not for after-school activities. Maybe, maybe, they just play among the school's own kids rather than playing interscholastically, but they'll be out there playing.
I think this approach to football, even at the NFL level, doesn’t take into consideration the huge number of people in ancillary roles that would be required to have a game, even if there was zero paid attendance. And most of those people don’t get paid enough for their game day roles to be quarantined from everyone else the rest of their week. So it would be impossible to have this be anything other than a huge potential for viral transference, not only among those at the stadium, but then to their non-football networks.
So either the country is back to “normal” or there is no NFL season this fall.
 

InstaFace

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The valid reason is that sports unlike academics are not essential.

Here, all sports activities have been cancelled through June. The discussion has begun to cancel all camps in July. Football and other fall sports tryouts begin the first week of August. Yes, it's already been suggested to come up with contingency plans for fall sports.

I don't know what to tell you. Where I live (highly educated, affluent area) parents are not going to send their kids to school or to play football if there's still a decent, even smallish, risk of catching the virus which of course there will be barring a small miracle.

EDIT: Very late edit. One of the major issues raised among all the stakeholders in this area has been if gyms and facilities remain closed, how long do they have to be open before it is safe for athletes to participate in tryouts and practices? In other words, athletes must be meet certain conditioning levels in order to participate. With everything shut down, how long will it take to ramp back up (athletes working out) and then begin regular tryouts, etc.?
Firstly, "essential" is not binary, there are degrees. It's an assessment of marginal harm vs marginal benefit. If school is in live session, the marginal harm isn't zero, but it's not meaningfully different from zero. Whereas, the benefits - in terms of mental health, physical health, and all the other reasons we like sports - are pretty easy to see, and I think we'd all agree are substantial.

Analogy: Ordering delivery isn't "essential", either. And the marginal risk is not zero. But it's not meaningfully different from zero, and the gains I get are substantial in terms of emotional health, general joy of life, and not fucking killing my children in the course of trying to make dinner.

Not everything non-essential needs to stop. Just the things that create nontrivial transmission risk. We get no bonus points for self-flagellating.


Secondly, most everyone is going to be starting from the same point. Conditioning standards are going to be relative, workout intensity is going to be relative. People can go for runs, sprint workouts, and do body-weight exercises on their own or in small workout pods. Maybe you don't get 4 full months to make a football season out of it, maybe you make do with 3, and maybe there's an interruption in there. It's not ideal. Things aren't going to be ideal. It'll still be way better than nothing.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Thanks for fleshing my point out a lot, Insta.

Ribo, I'm not trying to be cavalier about the risk to students, and I totally see your point. If the situation in the fall is similar to how things are now, or will be over next month, it makes sense to not have anything communal.

I think there are other ways that sports will be derailed, one being that the situation/environment in urban areas could grow unstable or violent if the shelter in place situation continues to disrupt life normal life for much longer than the end of May. This will at a minimum affect normal scheduling and tradition leagues and matchups, and there could be a situation where suburban and rural schools can pull this off, but not all areas can. Governing bodies for sports might cancel things due to the inequality and instability of the situation (and I"m sure there'd be huge backlash if that happened). It's also possible that the $ normally spent on sports won't be available, although I could see a more aggressive temporary "pay to play" response. Again, not gonna be an equal situation for richer vs. poorer school districts.

You think travel teams are taking over HS sports now...
 

riboflav

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Firstly, "essential" is not binary, there are degrees. It's an assessment of marginal harm vs marginal benefit. If school is in live session, the marginal harm isn't zero, but it's not meaningfully different from zero. Whereas, the benefits - in terms of mental health, physical health, and all the other reasons we like sports - are pretty easy to see, and I think we'd all agree are substantial.

Analogy: Ordering delivery isn't "essential", either. And the marginal risk is not zero. But it's not meaningfully different from zero, and the gains I get are substantial in terms of emotional health, general joy of life, and not fucking killing my children in the course of trying to make dinner.

Not everything non-essential needs to stop. Just the things that create nontrivial transmission risk. We get no bonus points for self-flagellating.


Secondly, most everyone is going to be starting from the same point. Conditioning standards are going to be relative, workout intensity is going to be relative. People can go for runs, sprint workouts, and do body-weight exercises on their own or in small workout pods. Maybe you don't get 4 full months to make a football season out of it, maybe you make do with 3, and maybe there's an interruption in there. It's not ideal. Things aren't going to be ideal. It'll still be way better than nothing.
1. I agree that sports provide many benefits and I also agree that non-essential activities will gradually start back at some point in 2020, not just the so-called essential activities we allow now. That said, at least in my region, there is no way high school sports will be allowed back until there's an effective cure or treatment for the worst symptoms. Helicopter well-off parents are not going to spend 8 weeks or more in self-isolation to save themselves, their kids, and grandma only to reverse course so that Kim can play volleyball this fall and put grandma back at risk. Sports involve a ton of close contact (including a shared ball or other equipment!) with heavy breathing. They are almost as dangerous for spreading a virus as any activity I can think of (note: I said almost).

2. As for conditioning, in my region it's already been determined. There will be a minimum of 15 days (green period as we call it) whereby athletes can ramp up for the start of tryouts. This period begins the day after facilities are allowed to be open and can be led by coaches but no assessment or formal coaching can take place and anyone interested in working out must be allowed to do so. It was decided that the risk of injury would be too great. Many injuries do not involve contact but increased strength and flexibility can be important factors in lowering the risk.I argued for a three week period. Some argued for less than 15 days. It is what it is.
 
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