Like the weather in Missouri, which changes every five minutes, Boonville Babe Ruth Softball League Director Kathy Howard said the plan is to play a full schedule.
With Missouri Governor Mike Parson issuing a stay at home order until Sunday, May 3, Howard said tryouts during that weekend are scheduled pending further developments.
The Boonville Babe Ruth Softball League normally schedules its season from the end of April to the middle of June.
As for who makes the decision to have a season, Howard said National Babe Ruth leaves the decision whether or not to proceed with their season up to each state.
“As of today, the tournament trails are still in place throughout the divisions of softball and Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball,” Howard said. “There are many unknown factors that could change that decisions. We just have to wait and see what happens with COVID-19.”
In addition to scheduling games for the summer, Howard said the league has not drafted. She said the current plan is to still do tryouts, followed by a draft to get the girls on the ballfield as quickly and safely as possible.
However, if the league is unable to hold tryouts as they are currently scheduled, the board will revisit the issue and see if it is possible to move forward and draft without tryouts.
As for the scheduling, Howard said at this time the league does not anticipating shortening the season. She said typically, most divisions get 10-12 games per team.
“If we need to go into July, we will do so,” Howard said. “One advantage we have this season, is that Pilot Grove has joined our league and has offered the use of their fields as we have grown in the number of teams we anticipate having in our league this year. Last year, when we experienced the flooding, Fayette and Glasgow also held some games on their fields. I think, as our local communities come together, we will find ways to get the girls on the fields and have a full season of softball.”
Howard said she expects to average five teams per division in the 8U-16U and probably less in the 6U division that started last year.
Currently, the Boonville Babe Ruth League has 160 girls registered but that does not include many of the girls from surrounding towns.
“Those numbers are primarily from the Boonville area,” Howard said. “However, we have other players registered from Glasgow, Fayette, Moberly, Jamestown and Pilot Grove. I believe that we will have as many, it not more teams, than we’ve had in prior years.”
If and when the league decides to play, the next question is how long the teams will have to get ready for the season.
Howard said once the teams are set, the managers will meet and help make the decision on how long they need before they are ready to play ball. She said obviously the league wants games to start as soon as reasonably possible.
To help raise money to pay for umpires and new uniforms, the Boonville Babe Ruth League also has a fundraiser that gives the players the option of paying a registration fee or paying a lesser fee with seeling Shakespeare’s pizzas. However, she said if the the league is unable to proceed with games this season, they will only receive a partial refund from the charter and insurance fees that they have paid.
“The proceeds from the fundraiser will help to offset that cost without causing the league or players extra expense,” Howard said.
As of right now, Howard said the plan is to start later and end later but could also teams playing more games during the week since they will have more fields to utilize.