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28

May, 2020

OYAA Baseball/Softball Update


 

May 28, 2020


Hello, OYAA:

Yesterday, you received an email from OYAA indicating that we were cancelling our recreation baseball and softball season and we were waiting to decide on travel.  We received several emails asking “why” we would cancel one without the other. We wanted the opportunity to share the “why” with you.

 

First, we were waiting for communication from OLSD in regards to fields being opened. We received that communication today (attached). OYAA anticipated this “re-opening” date of fields on June 15 as we have closely monitored the guidelines of the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) and OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association), which our schools follow for guidance.

 

Our recreation season ends by the end of June/first week of July; our travel season goes deep into July. To start recreation baseball/softball on June 15 would not be beneficial for our players or financially prudent for our families for a 15 (calendar) day season. We would not even be able to have a game before July 1. In addition, we were able to offer our families a full refund even though we were assessed credit card transaction fees. You may ask us to extend the season. That may work for your family, but it does not work for all our families and our volunteer coaches who may have July plans.

 

Next, our travel teams are playing in tournaments on most weekends and those tournaments have not been cancelled. If we were to cancel travel, the entry fees would not be refunded and our travel families would be out additional money. Rec fees are between $100-$200 and travel is $450-$700 and does not include travel expenses for hotels, food, uniforms, equipment, etc. which would take this fee close to or over $1,000. Furthermore, our travel teams can travel outside of Olentangy to find fields on which to practice – so they are actually able to begin practices – giving travel a season of approximately two (2) months.

 

Additionally, the OYAA is a non-profit organization with limited staff and 100% volunteer coaches. There are mandatory guidelines that we could not be in compliance with at the recreation level. You can review those on the ODH website. We share equipment; to social distance 5 year olds, enforce a no-touch rule, and for tracing purposes – our volunteer coaches would have to maintain a complete list of coaches and players along with beginning and ending time of each practice and game and submit upon request to the Delaware County Health Department.

 

To our Recreation families - yes, it was a difficult decision. We kicked the can down the road as far and for as long as we could. Our volunteer commissioners Tom Bee and Jeff Imholz, Executive Director Elaine Eddy, Director of Operations Dana Wisecarver and Administrative Assistant Tessi Jones have been meeting several times a week since April, trying to facilitate a season. We never wanted to cancel. After all, our jobs are about our youth sports. At the end of the day and the final analysis is that we could not facilitate a season in 15 (calendar) days and even more important is the inability to keep our kids safe.

 

To our Travel families - according to the document from OLSD, we can begin to practice on OLSD fields beginning June 15. Your commissioners Aaron Nicolosi (Stix) and Jeff Imholz (Phoenix) will be communicating with the coaches directly regarding mandatory guidelines put in place by the ODH as well as OLSD. 

 

TO ALL - COVID-19 has been hard for every single person. Whether you believe COVID-19 is real or not, whether you trust in our governor or not, you certainly can have your opinion. OYAA will always put the safety and health of kids first. And we know this – we will be back together. We are looking forward to returning to “normal” so we can once again enjoy our practices and our games. Whether that is this fall, winter or next spring, OYAA will be ready and looking forward to another great season.

 

Respectfully,

OYAA Administration

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