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Willow Glen Little League 2020 Spring Season Canceled

 

Families of Willow Glen Little League:

As we enter our 4th month of Santa Clara County’s Shelter In Place mandate, all of us long for many of the “normal” activities we used to enjoy.  Most frustrating, is the inability for our kids to be with their friends or schoolmates on a consistent basis.  

We had hoped that the recent updates by our County’s Health Department would allow us to get back onto the baseball diamond to at least offer up some type of practice plan.  However, after digging deep into the specifics of what is required, the threshold that we would have to attain in order to be compliant is too great for an all volunteer organization like ours especially as we are several weeks past our normal end time.  Because of this, our Board of Directors voted to not resume any baseball activities and call an end to our 2020 Spring Season.  

The sentiment of our Board of Directors was aligned with the survey results in that the majority of us want to be able to get outside and get our kids playing again in some type of baseball activity.  Some of the county health department restrictions we would need to implement include maintaining 6 feet of Social Distancing at all times, the inability to share equipment outside of “Stable Groups of 12,” requirements that kids not participate in any activities and health screenings that include temperature checks before stepping on the field. We knew that some of our volunteers felt apprehension about these responsibilities and felt it was not fair to put them under this additional layer of stress.  We were also unable to answer the question that was posed to us by many families, “How are we going to make sure and enforce that participants are not taking part in other activities?” 

We know that the likelihood of being able to field any type of competitive games is still several weeks or months down the road.  Our league is one of the smallest within District 12 and we punch above our weight thanks to the dedication of so many families that give their time to Willow Glen Little League.  We just do not have the volunteer numbers at this point in the calendar with many of our managers, coaches and board members leaving intermittently over the next few weeks for vacations or planned family outings. 

In regards to offering refunds, we decided to follow the lead of other leagues who have had to cancel and not offer refunds due to the financial stress this puts on the league for future years.  All Little Leagues spend the bulk of their revenues ahead of the season on items like field and facility maintenance, uniforms, insurance, Little League Chartering Dues, Little League District Assessments, City Park Permits, awards, snack shack inventory and more.  Other than permit fees from The City of San Jose, all of these expenses are not recoverable.  Additionally, in September of 2019 our Board of Directors approved a one time Capital Expenditure to make the Major Field more weather resistant, acquire new signs, paint all of the fences, install new fencing for our two T-Ball fields and install a new scoreboard for our Minor Division Field.  

Offering refunds in any amount to the 320+ families who registered with us, would draw down league reserves impeding the upkeep and maintenance that we have invested in over the past several years.  Willow Glen Little League is now the envy of neighboring leagues who have more families and more funding, along with higher registration fees. 

For families that are experiencing financial hardship and can use some type of assistance in the form of a pro-rated refund, please send an email request to [email protected].  

We are holding out hope that we can offer a Fall Ball Program beginning in September.  If The  Santa Clara County Health Department eases the restrictions to the point where we can be safe and compliant, we will offer up Fall Ball.  Our Board has discussed the feasibility of highly subsidizing Fall Ball registration fees for families that participated in our abbreviated Spring Season.  

We will also continue to take care of the baseball fields at Bramhall Park every week.  David Duarte and Josh Baird will be doing their best Forrest Gump and driving the lawnmower and keeping the sprinklers on.  For those of you who are comfortable with outside recreation, we would love to see our Little League Families enjoying the baseball fields while also adhering to our county health department rules. 

In closing, thank you for understanding the difficult decision that our Board of Directors made.  I have had the privilege of being part of Willow Glen Little League for 15 consecutive years and the unselfish work that our volunteer board members put in is inspiring.  A lot of heavy lifting goes on behind the scenes and I am grateful for the time and energy that each of them brings to our league. Thank you to our volunteer managers, umpires and coaches who step up and play a critical role.  The past few months has been frustrating for all of us but this too shall pass and better days are ahead.  Let’s do our part to follow what is being asked of us as citizens of a great community so that we can get back to doing the things we love.  

Thank You,

Terence Fox

President, Willow Glen Little League



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