I wanted to share with you the results of our softball survey and where things are for District 6 softball as we reach the midway point of the Month of June.
First the results.
We had 375 people respond to the poll, which is more than half the players who usually play in the league. Thanks for that as it gives us a real good sample size.
The results went pretty much as I had expected them to go, which is that most of you want to play softball and do so as soon as possible.
On Question one, asking if you would support starting the typical Spring/Summer season in late July or early August and run a full nine-week season ending in October (or early November if we get a rain out or two), 81.5 % of you said Yes and 18.5% said No.
Question Two asked if we should just cancel Spring/Summer and wait until September to start the usual Fall league. 75.4% of you said no while only 24.6% of you said yes.
Question Three asked if we should just bag 2020 entirely and wait until Spring, 2021 to play again. 81% said no and only 19 percent said yes.
With numbers like this, where 4-out-of-5 want to play in 2020, 4-out-of-5 want to start ASAP and only 1-in-4 say wait until September, the plan in District 6 is to have leagues start as soon as we are allowed.
Now, some leagues may be able to get up and running quicker than Millennium. You may have have seen or heard that Marcus Hook plans on opening on July 12.
That well could be the case, but the situation in the Hook is far different than for Millennium.
First off, no league can begin in Delaware County until we are given the Green light by the Governor. We may not all agree with the timing of that, but the fact is, we will not be permitted to play games on fields by the field owners while we are still in the Yellow. That goes for every league.
The difference between the Hook and Millennium is two-fold though. If we are given the green light (We're hearing July 3 is the target date, although that information can change on a moment's notice) the Hook League only has to get the permit for Mickey Vernon Park, and their commissioner is an elected Committee person and has been told he'll get the permit for his league as soon as Delco goes green.
For Millennium, we are at the mercy of multiple field owners, all who will likely have a different set of rules and regulations that have to be followed if they are to re-issue permits. Some may not do it at all. I seriously doubt school districts will issue permits for their fields.
Getting those permits is going to take time - and the possibility exists that we will be rejected if the field owners aren't comfortable with the notion of adult softball taking place there.
For those of you who read Steve Dimitry's post, you will see that the state tournament had to be moved because even though Lewisburg went green, their local government decided there will be no field permits for the remainder of 2020.
That could just as easily happen here.
So, time will be needed to make sure we have enough fields to accommodate our teams.
Additionally, we have to make sure we have all the teams willing to play. We already lost one Millennium team and it wouldn't surprise if a few more dropped off as well.
Whether certain teams made up the 20% who don't want to play or they are concerned about money - Question Four of the survey asked about funding for softball this season, and only 57% said they were not concerned at all about funding. That means that 43% were at least a little concerned, if not moderately or very concerned about funding - I'm certain Joe will work with teams on this front, but this is another reason time will be needed after we get the green light. Teams need to reorganize. There's no reason to rush them.
As such, if we do go green on July 3, I would expect an Opening Day to be either July 19 or July 26 depending on how quickly the permit process and team reorganization takes place.
Finally, we asked about rule changes, and while 49.1 % of you were OK with rule changes, that is still less than half. 43.7% said it depended on what the changes were and 8% said no changes at all.
As such, what those safety measures might entail will have to be carefully discussed. Things like only fielding and chasing your own balls, maintaining distancing from umpires, allowing for PPE to be worn if a player wants to wear it to play, taking away tag plays at the plate - all of these things would have to be discussed and agreed upon before returning to play.
In addition, divisions are likely going to have to be restructured and a new schedule will definitely have to be made.
As you can see, there's a lot that has to happen to make this all work.
There's no doubt that most of us want to get back out there ASAP. But we also have to be prudent in the way we do it.
While I don't have any idea what the field owners are going to say - and that's the biggest hurdle to clear - I still remain confident that we will have softball in some form in 2020.
Thanks for taking part in the survey and hopefully we'll have some great news about starting up in the next three weeks.