On behalf of myself and the rest of the board we would like to welcome you all to the 2021 Nyack Valley Cottage Congers Little League spring season. We are looking forward to another great year and wanted to take this opportunity to provide some information we hope will answer most of your questions as we kick things off.
Unfortunately, we will be unable to have our annual opening day parade again this year. Obviously, we are still not dealing with normal times and proper social distancing would be an issue with an event as large as this and we feel cancelling is the only decision to make at this time. We hope next year things are back to normal, the weather will finally cooperate and we can have an incredible opening day celebration!
The league is thrilled to announce we had a record number of t-ball registrations which is a fantastic sign for the future of this league. Also, for the first time in recent memory we are fielding three juniors teams as well!
Our season will kick off this Saturday with our majors teams taking the field followed by our minor and international divisions the following Saturday. And finally our rookie and t-ball programs will begin their year on May 1st.
We have made the difficult decision to not open our concession stands at Liberty and Hemlock this season. However, we have contracted a locally operated food truck who will be making the rounds to both fields throughout the year. A portion of sales will be donated back to the league.
With regards to our competitive levels, we will once again be using kid umpires this season. As a whole we were very pleased with how they handled calling games last year and a number have decided to return. As a reminder to all parents please keep in mind that these are teenagers who will make some mistakes and blow a call every now and then. There is a process in place to correct and manage them throughout the season. If anybody has concerns with a kid umpire they should talk to their team manager after the game who will ensure it is fed back into the training program. Yes it can be frustrating but everyone needs to keep the bigger picture in mind. Without these boys/girls volunteering we would not be able to have a season. The league will not tolerate any verbal abuse towards these kids.
At both of our main fields the setup we used last season to adhere to social distancing guidelines will remain in place. At Liberty, no parking will be allowed up against the field. We will be blocking off that section of the parking lot to allow parents an area to watch the games. The areas around the benches will be roped off and only players and coaches will be allowed in those sections. The only exception will be on the first base side if anyone needs to use the restrooms. At Hemlock, the setup will be similar with the benches being roped off for players and coaches only. There will be times when both the baseball and softball fields will have games going on simultaneously. Please use your best judgement in finding open spaces along the foul lines to avoid a cluster of people gathering around the home plate areas. We are not allowed to rope anything off at the other fields.
With regards to COVID, the league continues to work with Little League International, the county, and the CDC to ensure appropriate precautions are in place. Our current COVID protocols are posted on this website here listed under Health and Safety Information. These guidelines may change from time to time and we will keep that document up to date with any new developments. These procedures have been provided to the coaching staff and are reviewed regularly to ensure everybody is aware. Should you see something where you feel our procedures are not being followed please notify your team manager or the board so we can make the necessary adjustments. In the end our goal is to make sure the season is safe for everybody.
As always our league could not happen without you, our community of dedicated parents, this year that is even more important with special considerations due to the pandemic. We ask that all our parents help keep an eye on their kids when not on the field to ensure they are practicing social distancing. Parents can also help us make this a safe season by making sure their children have a face covering with them at every practice and game. We recommend that the face coverings are something that is hard to lose and easy to put on or take off quickly as that will occur multiple times. If your child happens to be prone to losing a mask it would be a good idea to bring a spare for them. Finally it is always a good idea to bring a chair for your player if you are going to a field other than Liberty or Hemlock. Many of the town fields have limited seating available and with social distancing rules players will often need additional seating.
Finally, I want to say thank you for all of your support and trust in us to provide your children with a fun, safe and memorable experience playing the great game of baseball. This league cannot run without you and to all our parents who have volunteered to coach this season, we say thank you!
The C-Flap modification on helmets has now been deemed illegal by Little League International since it is a modification of an existing helmet, while it would have been nice for them to advise prior to the season, the helmet is now technically illegal and an umpire may have the player remove the helmet from play so please be aware of it. The only helmet that currently has a C-Flap and is considered legal is the Boombah FG on a Boombah Defcon helmet since those helmets are pre-drilled for any potential attachment. We are not asking you to go out and buy new helmets but please be aware of the situation and know that since the helmet has been modified it may be removed from the game so if you have another helmet you may want to consider having your son/daughter bring it as a back up in the event the C-flap helmet is removed from play. All managers at the Majors/Minors and Internationals levels have been notified.
Once All-Star play begins these helmets will not be allowed at all as umpires are required to inspect bats/helmets and catchers gear pre-game. Any C-flap helmet with the exception of the Boombah helmet found in All-Star play will be deemed illegal.
Please reach out if you have any questions regarding this matter.