Travel sports leagues have an indefinite future in New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many believe they will be able to resume practice and host tournaments in Phase Four of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reopening plan.
In the meantime, the Rochester Lady Lions will be traveling to Ohio twice in June to get some live softball action in as a team.
Rob Kersch, president of the Lady Lions, says these tournaments will look very different from previous years due to the state and local health regulations. Ohio is open, but operating under strict guidelines.
Some of the regulations for the tournaments include players wearing masks until they get on to the field, no umpire meetings, coaches remaining masked throughout the game, no high fives/handshakes, parents masked and six feet apart in the stands, and more. The tournament is even providing each team with their own ball, so there is no cross contamination by the players.
The girls have been practicing individually since March, all preparing to take the field again as a team. The 18U, 16U, and 14U Futures teams will all be traveling to Ohio, and are all very serious about the game.
“Most of these kids want to play at the next level or already are doing that,” said Kersch. “I know some of them are videotaping their swings and sending them to hitting coaches, and they’re analyzing it over video so they can get some feedback from their coaches they can’t get to in person.”
The Lady Lions are also looking into ways to make sure the girls are getting seen by college coaches, who are under NCAA restrictions for in-person recruiting due to the pandemic.
“We’re looking into possibly live streaming so even though they can’t go to the event, they can still watch it live,” said Kersch.
Each summer the Lady Lions host a tournament of their own, but Kersch and the other executives postponed it back in March to get ahead of the curve. It is currently planned for August.