In a season that alluded so much uncertainty, if one were to say back in May or June that the 2020 CTWL season would run without any problems concerning COVID-19, they would have responded in the amazement of any possible optimism. The pandemic has wreaked throughout the State of Connecticut and the nation: over 68,000 of a population of 3.7 million people have been infected at the time of writing, and 4,500 people have died. It was just three or four or five months ago when the almost all luxuries of life were closed, and wiffleball was shelved to wonder if a season would happen altogether.
So, with the season now more than two months in the books, how many cases have attributed to play? ZERO. That is according to the 2020 Season In Review Report from the Office of the Commissioner, which was shared to certain media personnel prior to its official public release sometime in November. Though the League did not sponsor any COVID testing or required any players to get tested prior to the start of Opening Week on July 12th, the 12 players who participated in the inaugural season were apparently able to remain vigilant to the virus, and prevent any spread while playing and traveling to other locations.
"It is very relaxing to see these numbers," reported Commissioner Benjamin Fiore when asked about how the 2020 season went. "With all of the external factors and nonessential work beginning with our season, there was some fear that one careless error would compromise our plans for the year. But thankfully our players took this pandemic seriously, were careful with their engagement with others, and here we are having crowned our first champion and beginning to prepare for 2021."
During the season the Connecticut Wiffleball League followed guidelines from public health agencies, recommending that players wear face masks when unable to socially distance 6 feet or more. In addition, the league implemented a trust system to virus reporting, with each Club Manager able to message the league in the event of any suspicion that a player(s) on a Club have been exposed or have a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. Thankfully, this trust system did not have to be used, as reported by other officials on the League's Executive Board.
"We also have to thank the friends, families, and employers of our players for providing COVID-safe places for our players," the Commissioner added. "Their vigilance also ensured that our players did not contract the virus while in other environments, which in turn helped to curb any potential spread at our facilities."
When asked about plans for the 2021 season, Commissioner Fiore declined to share any information. He did hint that the first waves of information would be shared some time before Thanksgiving, and that all details would roll out to the public throughout the next several months.
"We are only just at the beginning," commented Fiore. "We just got over the fact we even had a season this year. We're confident in our methods and want to get to work as soon as possible - I know I am. But for now we want to take some time away and enjoy the other aspects of life that go on when we are not fighting tooth-n-nail to win on the field. Navigating this last season was difficult, so we need adequate time to assess and discuss improvements that we would like to implement for next season."
While the pandemic seems to be back on the rise as the weather cools down once again, the Connecticut Wiffleball League will once again have its hands full to continue controlling the virus' spread. With the prospect of expansion looming, these statistics are a good sign for anyone looking to make the CTWL a place to play in 2021 and beyond.
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.