In a time of year that typically sees the ball fields full of teams practicing for the upcoming season, this year tells a completely different story. The ball fields currently sit empty and sounds of baseball are missing. This is the second straight year the Dell Rapids Baseball Association has been faced with difficult baseball challenges, however, this year’s challenge with the virus could keep baseball from happening at all.
The DRBA has teams that participate in five different leagues. The two amateur teams play in the Cornbelt League/SD Amateur baseball, the high school club baseball teams is part of the South Dakota High School Baseball Association, there is a legion team, the 15/16 and 13/14 teener teams play in the I-29 League, and the 6U, 8U, 10U, and 12U teams play in the MinnDak League.
The Covid-19 virus has already forced the cancellation of the entire high school club baseball season. The team was only able to hold a handful of practices before being forced to stop, and the season was cancelled before one game was played. The other teams are currently in a “wait and see” time frame right now.
Typically coaches of teams are getting their teams together for practices during this time of year, but this year no teams are practicing. Along with the leagues waiting for more information, the city of Dell Rapids has also closed down the parks and ball fields for use, which adds another layer of complexity to the situation.
Currently the I29 League and MinnDak League are going to make a decision about the season in the first week of May. Typically the leagues begin having games in May, but with the virus and needing to wait to see what that situation will be in a couple of weeks, the leagues will, at the very least, be implementing a different plan for the season if they can play. The South Dakota VFW Baseball office posted on their Facebook page that they will be waiting until June to make a determination on the region and state tournaments. Legion baseball for the state of South Dakota is going to wait until at least May 15th before making a decision on the season. The South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association has indicated they are currently planning on having a season this summer. Typically the amateur season doesn’t start until late May or early June, so no official decision has been made about changes to the season or state tournament, but changes are not off the table.
The DRBA has updates on all of the different age groups on the front page of their website, www.dellrapidsbaseball.com.
So like the DRBA, we wait and see, and hope there can be baseball this summer.