Hi there, I hope this email finds you and your families in good health. What our communities have gone through over the past couple of months has been heartbreaking, and we of course are not completely out of it. Governor Abbott has outlined the recovery plan for Texas that shows some progressed towards a potential restart of youth sports that would include softball. As we enter Phase 1 of the recovery process that does not include youth sports, we felt it is appropriate to start some early planning of what the schedule and game plan is going to be if youth sports are included in the May 18th go date.
There are going to be a million questions, along with concerns that will come along with this complex situation. Our plan is to wait to release our specific guidelines on what safety measures will be put into place at our tournaments until the authorities release Phase 2 guidelines. The newly formed Texas Sports Coalition is running point on working with the proper government entities on the restart of sports at all levels. Please hold off on any questions regarding any safety measures for now, as we are not in a position to properly answer them yet. The one thing that we do know is that there will be a new normal when we come back.
Given what we do know today, we expect some areas in Texas to be in a position to restart as early as the 5/23 weekend, so we are going to make some adjustments to our schedule to try and fit that potential restart weekend. For example, The Super 8 Turf Wars event that was scheduled for this coming weekend in Beaumont, TX will be rescheduled for the potential start up weekend. We will be taking another look as a staff at the remaining events for the rest of the season, and will communicate on which events are still a go once we have more clarity from Gov. Abbott on Phase 2.
On the topic of USFA World Series in Panama City Beach, the event is moving forward as scheduled. Panama City Beach is in a similar time model as TX, and PCB has a tentative return for youth sports as early as middle May. World Series will be communicating their guidelines at the appropriate time. There are a few teams from our Region that are no longer in a position to travel to PCB due to COVID-19, and at the same time there are some teams that are now looking at PCB that were not initially planning to go to USFA. One additional concern we have heard from teams is that air travel is going to be tougher to do versus a drivable Nationals which will be easier on families.
We are making another adjustment by bringing back the Western Nationals at Ford Park the weekend of 7/18-7/20 that will be a better fit for teams that are not in a position to travel. This event will include an indoor Opening Ceremonies at our host hotel that will give teams a chance to not miss out on a “nationals” type experience. (Yes-the Tug of War Championship will be during Opening Ceremony).
There is a long list of logistical items to address that comes with this restart that includes a wide range of issues from remaining tournament schedule, park opening timelines, team roster issues, points, fundraising, and of course the elephant in the room “safety”. Although planning has begun on what a return could be, it's all tentative until we know more. We also want our softball families to know that as an organization we are going to be flexible, respectful, and attentive as we try to drive positivity during this complex recovery. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and we look forward to seeing everyone very soon!!!!!