Dear Parents and Guardians of Appleton Little League current and past participants,
We’ve had several inquiries while we're in a holding pattern due to the major impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on our lives and normal league season. Our Board of Directors and COVID-19 Task Force appointed by the Board share and understand the concern and are working hard on safe solutions.
In mid-March, Little League International stated that league activities globally were suspended until April 6, then soon after expanded to May 11. On April 28, LLI opened the door for league resumption after May 11, but adhering within state and local guidance. With Wisconsin's "Safer at Home" order originally set to expire May 26, but overturned by the State Supreme Court yesterday, we have been and are working on a tentative plan to resume 2020 league activities in late Spring or early Summer. Appleton Health Department has enacted a similar order to what the state had, until 8:00 am on Wednesday, May 20. We continue to disallow non-admin league activities until further notice. We will operate according to safety guidelines and regulations set by the CDC, WI Department of Health, and Appleton Health Department; as such, modification to our plans may be required as the end of May and June approach. As we know more from the various agencies, we will communicate scheduling plans.
Currently, it is our hope and intention to conduct a delayed start and as complete of a regular season for all levels of softball and baseball. With the 2020 LL Int’l Tournament canceled beyond the state level, we can be flexible and creative with our scheduling and planning. Team formation will likely be different at the Minor and Major levels this year. Before any games start, we’ll likely have at least two weeks of practices.
WI Little League District Administrators met on Tuesday and District 5 (us, Kaukauna, Wausau, Antigo, more) League Presidents and DAs will meet later this evening followed by our COVID-19 Task Force, all to discuss district and/or state tournaments for players at Minor and Major levels, as well as what WI LL and each leagues are planning. We're holding a special Board meeting this weekend. We've been in contact with other local youth sport organizations to compare notes and put together best practices.
Volunteer time requirements, fundraisers, number of practices and games, and much more are all under evaluation. Appleton Area School District fields and facilities remain closed thru at least June 30 and availability of City of Appleton and Fox Crossing fields is unknown. Fan safety protection and other work at our Scheels USA Youth Sports Complex Gromer and Kratzer Fields is underway.
Safety of our players and their families, fans, umpires, and our volunteers remain our TOP priority. We understand there’s parents who won’t want their children to play this year; upon request, we’ll offer full refunds ASAP. We understand we may not be able to offer a substantially full season and possibly no season at all in 2020; if that’s the case and when timing is certain, we'll offer appropriate refunds. We understand some sponsors may not be able to afford to contribute to our program this year. A child will never be unable to play due to an inability to pay, so ask for help if you need. No matter what, we will do what's right! We also understand that getting back to some normalcy with youth softball and baseball may be what we all need!
Registration remains open for all levels of play at www.AppletonLittleLeague.org. We will accept players from all around the area this year (no "boundary" restrictions, unless 9-12-year-old baseball player from Kaukauna Youth Baseball LL).
If you have any questions, including questions on how this affects your current registration, please email COVID19@AppletonLittleLeague.org. You can also contact me directly (see info, below).
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this unprecedented time.
Kevin Kostelecky, President
Appleton Little League