Connecticut Wiffleball League Announces Return To Play, Start of 2020 Regular Season As Soon As June 20th
By: Benjamin Fiore @theboneman15
June 3rd, 2020 2:38 pm EST
The Connecticut Wiffleball League announced on Tuesday that there WILL be an actual season in 2020. After weeks and months of debate and tracking of Connecticut's progress towards reopening, Commissioner Benjamin Fiore, along with the owners of all Clubs felt that the current situation now permits the resumption of work towards a 2020 campaign.
"It's really been a long time coming," commented Commissioner Fiore in a private interview just hours after the announcement. "The Clubs, including myself, have really been on the fence on whether or not there should be a season or not. The news kept changing day-by-day, and nothing up until the past week or two has given us sure confidence that we can have a season at all."
Commissioner Fiore attributes the decision to hold the season based on the data published by the State of Connecticut and guidelines for phased reopening of the state, as outlined by Governor Ned Lamont. The State of Connecticut entered Phase One of its reopening program on May 20th, which saw the opening of some retail businesses, malls, zoos, and outdoor dining, among others. The State plans to enter into Phase Two on or around June 20th, which would include more businesses and services to reopen, including outdoor recreation venues and youth sports capped at 50 people.
With the start of the season, Commissioner Fiore says that while games are going to begin later this month, he assures they will look much different that what anyone anticipated.
"COVID-19, even with the reopening of the State, has not magically gone away, so we are going to need to adapt to playing in this new reality." Commissioner Fiore states that social distancing and mask-wearing will be mandated for players, volunteers, and officials will be required in some form at all games going forward. Fiore noted that the extent of these protective measures, as well as potential other protocols, are currently being discussed among the league's Executive Board. He stated that the league would release a statement to all Clubs by the end of the week, with a note to the public by early next week.
Some of the measures the Commissioner included limited sharing of equipment, temperature checks of players, volunteers, and officials upon arrival at a game site, and limited rosters present at games.
Many of these measures have been noted to carry over to practices, which in the statement released on June 2nd call for all Clubs to begin practices as soon as possible. The statement calls for the Clubs to practice in small groups of no more than three players at a time, and to keep social distance wherever possible, including within drills and exercises.
To read the official news release from the Office of the Commissioner released on June 2nd, click HERE.
"This is going to be something entirely new," commented owner and manager of the Portland Trail Wifflers franchise, Alex Inglis. "I think it is going to be very difficult to get everyone to follow all of the new rules and regulations. But if this is what it takes to have a season and play anything at all, I think we can all work to follow these guidelines and keep everyone safe."
As the Clubs begin to head out and prepare for the season's start in under three weeks, Commissioner Fiore ensures that everything will be under a close eye leading up to and after Opening Day.
"No matter what we decide to do, we are going to ensure everyone's safety first," commented Commissioner Fiore. "I, as well as the Clubs, are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure this, with whatever resources and technology we have available to us."
Ben Fiore has followed wiffleball since 2017, with his love leading to the creation of the Connecticut Wiffleball League. Follow him on his Instagram and Twitter pages from the username by the article title.