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"The outcome of a game will never outlive the pride of belonging, the experience of playing, the friends and the fun. The essence of Little League is the people, their communities, and the everlasting bond between them."
Spring 2021 Snack Shack Menu
The CYA LL Snack Shack opens Saturdays starting Sat 1 May
Well, we're a couple of weeks into the season and I hope that your players are having a great time being out on the fields, but we need a little bit of a reset and a few reminders with regard to this season's COVID guidelines if we want to keep playing.
CYA LL is fortunate to receive school and park field allocations from the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. In "normal" non-COVID times, we must adhere to guidelines regarding usage of all allocated fields. The Fairfax County Park Authority sets additional guidelines with regard to our Adopt a Field agreement for Chantilly Park where we are responsible for maintaining the fields.
Fairfax County has set additional COVID-related guidelines regarding park and field usage. We are subject to inspection as observers are auditing fields and reporting what they see. If we are not in compliance, we run the risk of losing fields and without fields, nobody can practice or play.
From Fairfax County Athletic Services and Community Use:
"Your sports organization is responsible for ensuring all of your players, parents, coaches and fans strictly adhere to these guidelines. Failure to do so may result in the loss of your permit to use fields in Fairfax County."
So, just so we're all on the same page - yeah, COVID has impacted us all - some a lot more than others. Being able to administer and participate in a youth baseball program right now is a privilege. We're lucky to be able to have this outlet to bring some sense of normalcy back to the lives of our kids and even us as parents.
That being said, we, the CYA LL Board of Directors have effectively derived requirements for how we can, as safely as possible, conduct practices and games based on the guidelines and conditions of use set forth by Fairfax County. This all worked pretty smoothly in the fall and we expected it to go just as smoothly this spring, but we're not quite there yet. Please review the CYA LL Spring 2021 COVID Guidelines. We are constantly assessing our guidelines and will adjust them as conditions change. Here's a quick summary:
Spectator Guidelines - also available on each team's page on our website
- Spectators must wear face masks
- Spectators not in the same household must be physically distanced by no less than 10'
- Spectators should bring their own seating and must be outside the modified dugout/player areas which includes behind the backstop and the bleachers
Observation - too many people are sitting where they should not. Please follow the guidelines. We have noticed that for the most part, our non player-pitch teams (tee ball, coach pitch, machine pitch) have been doing a much better job than our player pitch spectators.
Player & Volunteer (Managers, Coaches, and Umpires) Guidelines
- Self screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending CYA LL events
- Players and coaches may not attend team events if upon arrival they did not fill out the CYA LL COVID screening form and did not answer NO to every question.
- Physical distancing of 10’ must be maintained by everyone at all times
- Volunteers must wear a face mask
- Players must wear a face mask except when actively playing on the field
- Players must hang bags at marked 10’ spaced locations during practice and games
- Each individual must have their own personal hand sanitizer. Required to use upon entering and exiting the field, between drills and innings.
- Sharing of items is prohibited (except baseballs). Players must have at a minimum, their own glove, bat and helmet. Team catchers gear will be disinfected between use.
- Coaches move equipment through stations (to minimize contact)
- No players in the dugout except on-deck batter during games. Managers will direct players where to sit during games to maintain required distancing.
- No “high fives”, hand shakes or team huddles
- No spitting - sunflower seeds, gum and foods that encourage spitting not allowed
- No sharing of food or drinks, no team snacks, no eating on the field
Observation - too many players are crowding the dugout, gathering closely, not wearing masks. Players must be masked and distanced when not on the field.
COVID Coach Responsibilities
- Collect COVID screening questionnaires from all players and coaches before each event
- Ensure players maintain physical distancing while not on the field
- Ensure all spectators remain in the appropriate viewing areas
- Ensure all players, families, and spectators maintain physical distancing during all events
Observation - We appreciate all who have volunteered to be COVID coaches. We don't want to put additional burden on our COVID coaches - so please make their jobs easy by complying with the guidelines.
We realize the spectator restrictions are not ideal, but we are grateful that spectators are allowed at all. If someone approaches you and reminds you of our guidelines, they are likely a CYA LL Board Member or volunteer. Please do not give them a hard time. We're all just trying to remain compliant so that our kids can play.
We all hope that COVID restrictions will relax over time. Until then, whether you agree or disagree with the guidelines doesn't matter - we all must follow them to retain field usage to allow our players to play.
Huge thanks to those who have been following the guidelines and a thanks in advance to all who will heed this reminder and help us get through this for the rest of the season.
Hoping your player(s) are having a fun season and continue to do so.
If games are moved or canceled due to field closure, you will receive a notification by email (or text if you set your account up for text messages). You can configure your notification settings by signing in, then click on "Edit My Account".
Each weekday, the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) determines playability of all Fairfax County Park fields (based on FCPA personnel in-person observations) and posts athletic field status by 3PM. If FCPA closes a field, nobody should use that field and if it has lights, they will not work when park is posted as closed.
FCPA does not post field status for Fairfax County Public Schools fields. FCPA does not post status of the field at St Veronica.
Sometimes, as full adopters of Chantilly Park, we are allowed to open Chantilly Park when FCPA would normally close it. In the past year, this has been much more difficult to accomplish.
If/where/when we can, we will try to check conditions at school fields and StV. We can’t always get out or get someone else to go check a field. On a sunny day, we’re likely to assume the field is in good shape and we’ll post it as open. On a more questionable day, or the day after a field was closed, if nobody has reported to us, we will post the field as “TBD” – so that after 3:15 PM it is up to the managers of the teams scheduled to practice or play. This is also referred to as “Manager Decision” or “Game Time Decision”.
We try to update our status by 3PM. It’s safest to wait until about 3:15 to check field status. We're at work during the day, just like you, and aren't always able to check on the fields. One of the best things about the our website is that the field status page is quick and easy to update. The bad thing is we can’t add any text to the page to explain anything and there’s no date/time stamp to know when it was last updated. When possible, we’ll update Facebook and post a message on the front page of the website.
Field status may change after 3:15 PM if we get updated reports of field conditions or weather comes inlater..
Everyone needs to follow the general guidelines below for determining field status…
Please keep in mind that just because it’s raining where you work or live, does not mean a field will be closed.
Open - Green = field is open and available for use
Closed - Red = field is closed an nobody should use any part of it
TBD - Orange = Before 3:15 PM - field status has not been updated, after 3:15 PM (or on a weekend) it is up to the manager to determine field status.
Even when fields are "OPEN" it is everyone's responsibility to assess the condition upon arrival. If the field is not playable, don't step on it.
If standing water or foot prints, stay off...
You must be able to rake/drag field and actually do so after use. If it’s too wet, you just cannot rake or drag.
Managers – re: “Manager Decision” status, use the guidelines below to determine playability. Use common sense please.
Field Status Checklist...
All managers are encouraged to assess field conditions upon arrival at any open field.
You should not play on a baseball field if any of the following conditions exist:
· There is standing water on any portion of the field.
· The sound of a footstep (squish-squish) can be heard while walking on the field.
· While standing on the field, water can be observed gathering around the sole of the foot.
· While walking (not running) across a grass portion of the field, a footprint is left in the soil (not just the grass bending over).
· While walking (not running) on any dirt portion of the field, an impression ½” or deeper is made in the soil.
DO NOT rake mud or sweep puddles into the grass.
DO NOT dig trenches to remove standing water.
DO NOT use Turface or any quick-dry material unless you have received authorization to do so.
After much thought and discussion, the CYA LL Board of Directors has come up with a plan for the fall. Even with a plan, we remain cautiously optimistic that we'll even get to execute it as many factors can change and upend the plan. There is a lot of uncertainty right now and we expect it to continue into mid-August.
We felt it was important to not open registration blindly without setting expectations of what the season may consist of first. We do not believe it is fair for you to register - assuming a regular season, and then turn it into something far different or less than you expected. We were blindsided in the spring - we need to be far more cautious entering fall.
The plan sets in place protocols that will demand the cooperation of participants, coaches, and parents. All parents, players, and coaches will have to acknowledge the risks and their understanding of the protocols as well as adhere to the protocols to enable participation. These protocols will be formally documented and published shortly.
Our plan is also heavily dependent on volunteers - even more so than in "non-pandemic" times. We insist that everyone follow the protocols and support them. If you do not agree with or support the protocols, we will not argue with you, but your player won't be allowed to participate if you or your player won't comply. We cannot execute a plan without an adequate number of committed volunteers who will have to be cognizant of a lot more "rules".
While we have struggled with how to move forward, minimize risks, and employ reasonable protocols based on guidance from the CDC and Governor Northam's office, we see the following challenges to conducting a fall baseball season:
1) Ability to enforce social distance between players as well as between coaches and players
2) Having enough adults on field to enforce the protocols inherently increases asymptomatic and transmission risks due to greater numbers
3) The more additional rules (spreading out, no high fives, limited spectators etc.), the more the level of fun goes down. Players of almost every age don’t want to only work on individual skill development, they want to play ball and socialize.
Due to broad restrictions required by COVID-19 guidelines, and the difficulty of enforcing those restrictions with our youngest players, we are unfortunately unable to offer Tee Ball & Coach Pitch divisions for Fall 2020. Given the amount of interaction between players, coaches and families/spectators, we don’t believe we can offer a satisfactory and safe environment while still providing a fun experience at the youngest levels. We strongly considered a number of different options, including increasing adult participation on-field but that would conversely raise the overall transmission risk. The Commonwealth of Virginia insists on 10' distancing and that's impossible to conduct tee ball and coach pitch practices and games. While consistent with the conclusion that the majority of our local Little Leagues have reached in not offering a fall program, we are very disappointed to defer our Tee Ball & Coach Pitch division until next season. We look forward to delivering our usual Tee Ball and Coach pitch programs in Spring 2021. This is a truly heartbreaking decision for us as we really want to provide some sense of normalcy for our young players. If by some miracle things change for the positive in the coming weeks, we will see if there's anything we can offer our youngest players.
We will attempt to offer a fall program for players age 7-12. Number and size of teams will be dependent on the number of players that sign up as well as the number of adult volunteers. Protocols will be very clear for how each division will operate.
This will not be a normal baseball season. The 2020 League Age chart will be utilized and strictly enforced. We will start the season with a weekday practice and a Saturday practice for at least a couple of weeks (or longer) and then hopefully transition to a weekday practice and Saturday game each week for each team.
Age | Division
7-8 | Machine Pitch
9 | Introductory Player Pitch
10 - 11 | Intermediate Player Pitch
10-12 | Advanced Player Pitch
A summary of the protocols (to be formalized)
All families will submit signed waivers acknowledging and accepting the risk or participating and that they understand the required protocols.
Each player will be submitting a pre-screen form (likely electronic) prior to each event attesting to their health.
Each team will need at least one "COVID Coach" responsible for observing, reminding, and enforcing the established protocols (although all coshes and parents are expecte dto chip in when see something that needs attention)
Teams sizes may be reduced from the normal roster size of 12
Players will be assigned locations - appropriately distanced - off the field for their equipment and where they will remain during the game when not on the field.
Players will be positioned in the field at designated areas for drills
Unrelated (by family) spectators must be distanced at least 10' apart.
Schedules will allow for teams to be gone before next teams arrive
We'll be managing game balls and disinfecting
An umpire will be positioned behind the pitcher to call balls and strikes and field plays
No high fives, spitting, or sharing of equipment (other than a bat as long as it is wiped with sanitizer).
Some Machine Pitch Specifics
Teams will have no more than 7 players.
If/when games - no catcher and no "pitcher". A coach from defensive teams will collect balls into a bucket.
Pitching machine will be wiped before each half inning.
Defensive team will provide balls and take them to the dugout at end of their inning.
In addition to much concern over providing a safe baseball environment for all, we have been very cautious about rolling out registration without protection of your registration fees. One thing we have decided to do because of the protocols everyone will have to follow and reducing activities to cut the fall registration by $35 to help make up for what you may have lost this spring.
We are still not entirely uncomfortable not knowing what might change at the state and county level, but we appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters. We hope to open a pre-registration by Monday 27 July in which we will not be asking for payment yet. We just need to gauge the number of potential participants and volunteers to plan logistics. W3e don't anticipate beginning anything until possibly the 3rd week in August, if circumstances allow.
CYA LL encourages all Northern Virginia girls who enjoy baseball (including softball players) to attend the first ever DC Girls Baseball Winter Clinic in Northern Virginia as well as to consider joining DCGB. DCGB is a terrific organization that provides a unique all-girls baseball experience that augments participation in Little League baseball and provides opportunities for girls to play beyond their LL years.
DC Girls Baseball is holding a winter skills clinic at The CYA Fieldhouse in Chantilly with Coach Zack Welch.
Coach Welch is a former college and professional baseball player. He coached baseball for 7 years between SUNY Plattsburgh and Sul Ross State University. He is the Programs and Facilities Director at The CYA Fieldhouse and also coaches a travel baseball team.
The clinic will include six weekly sessions on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., starting January 12. NOTE: Time change for Feb. 2 (10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.).
Discounted rate for DC Girls Baseball members: $180
Rate for non-DC Girls Baseball members: $225
More About DC Girls Baseball
DC Girls Baseball is an all-girls baseball organization based in Washington, DC. The only girls baseball program in the region, it draws girls ages 18 and under from across the District, Maryland, and Virginia, giving them the opportunity to play baseball at the highest levels, cultivating their skills and offering them the chance to build a sense of belonging with girls who love to play.
DCGB teams travel locally and regionally to compete in all-girls and co-ed baseball tournaments. We practice weekly with female professional coaches from the Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference. Our 13U Team won the 2017 Baseball for All National Girls Baseball Championship Tournament in Rockford, IL in July 2017 and defended their title as a 14U team in 2018. Our program has been recognized with a resolution by the DC City Council and was celebrated on the field at Nationals Park for two years in a row.
Our program offers many exciting opportunities, from our winter baseball clinics and our strength and conditioning program to tournament play in Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Come and take the field and help us change the world one pitch at a time!
Mission of DC Girls Baseball
DC Girls Baseball is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting girls’ participation in baseball and fostering their love of the game. Our program aims to supplement co-ed little league, school-based, and travel team baseball by connecting girls who play, developing their skills, and offering them competitive opportunities in a positive environment.
We focus on inclusion and welcome girls of all skill levels. Our vision is that no girl will face a barrier to play. We value culture above all; our goal is to help our players become thoughtful, supportive, and hardworking teammates who believe in themselves and each other.
We aspire to offer a unique experience of confidence, community, and competition that our players will carry with them on the diamond, in their classrooms, in the workforce, and throughout their lives.
Members were elected to our 2020 board of directors at our Annual Membershp Meeting on 6 Nov. The newly elected board members then elected officers and other board leadership positions at the 12 Nov CYA LL BoD mtg.
Congratulations and thanks to our volunteer board members as well as those members who participated in our annual meeting and/or submitted absentee ballots.
Many thanks to our outgoing Board members, Rick Anderson, David Wells and Tom Phillips.
John Lesch - a 2019 Sully District Champion of Character
John Lesch has been selected by the Fairfax County Athletic Council and the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) as a 2019 Sully District Champion of Character.
The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday 1 October 2019 at the Fairfax County Government Center, located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035.
There will be a reception with light hors d’oeuvres starting at 6:00 pm, followed by a 7:00 pm ceremony. There will be members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the School Board, and the Athletic Council present at the ceremony. Keynote Speaker: Mr. Erik Moses, President of the new XFL Washington Football Team.
We encourage friends, players, coaches, and more to come out and honor John as Leslie accepts this award on his behalf.
During my coaching career, I have had positive relationships with nearly all of my athletes’ parents. The majority of them are so helpful, kind, and supportive of the team and coaches. This post is not meant to give the idea that coaches are perfect. Believe me; I have made more mistakes than I can count.
This is for the 5% of parents that cause 95% of the issues...
1. We do play favorites (No, we don't care what your last name is)
That’s right. We do. My personal favorites are the players that have a great work ethic, are intelligent players, will do whatever it takes to help the team, and of course display athleticism and talent.
2. Yelling tips and instructions to your child from the stands does not help at all
I know we think if we give our child that one last tip before he goes up to bat, he will surely get that big hit. Unfortunately, this only causes the player to think about something other than the task at hand. This is more detrimental than anything else.
3. Lack of playing time does not mean that the coach does not like your kid
Some of my fondest memories of coaching come from players that didn’t start for me. Please realize that most coaches love all of their players. Unfortunately, in life, some people are better at certain things. This does not mean that your child is a failure. It definitely does not mean that coach loves your child less than the starters.
4. At times, less is more
In this age of select teams and travel ball burnout has become an issue. The children play way too many games throughout their youth. By the time they get to junior high or high school, they are burned out and do not enjoy the sport.
5. Focusing on one sport does not help your child earn scholarships
Let’s be honest. The chances of getting a college scholarship are slim. Not impossible, but also not likely for the majority of high school athletes.
This is the most common excuse when deciding not to play a sport. “I’m going to focus on _____________”. Whatever sport your child is quitting will actually help them to become a better all-around athlete. The majority of professional and college athletes were multi-sport athletes in high school. They played more than one sport, and look where it got them.
6. Stop living through your child, and let them enjoy their own experiences
Everyone wants their child to be successful. However, living vicariously through your child can make his or her experience with sports very uncomfortable for everyone. Here are some signs that you are living through your child:
1) If you care more about your child’s statistics or playing time than if the team won or lost.
2) If you treat your child differently after a win or a loss.
3) If you constantly feel the need to undermine a coach because your child is not playing as much as you would like.
7. It is ok that your child has failures
Failure and dealing with failure are HUGE lessons to learn in life. If you give your child the proper tools to deal with failure in sports, this will greatly benefit him or her in the future. Making excuses or always blaming the coach for your child’s failures is merely setting them up for problems down the road. Everything that goes wrong or doesn’t work out will be somebody else’s fault.
8. Our family members are in the stands while you are bashing "the coach"
This one may bother me most of all. As a three-sport coach, I spend a lot of time away from my amazing wife and daughter. WE have made a sacrifice so that I can pursue my coaching career. That means that my time away from my family is devoted to working with your children to help them become better athletes and most of all better people. The least you can do is know who is around you while you are making these comments.
Kyle McBrain is an experienced high school baseball and girls basketball coach. He has 8 years experience coaching baseball and 7 years experience coaching girls basketball at Staunton High School (Staunton, IL). Kyle played two years of baseball at Lewis & Clark Community College and two years at Millikin University.
Major League Baseball and USA Baseball are pleased to offer the Play Ball Mobile Coach Application. Play Ball Mobile Coach, which is free to all users, features the ability for baseball coaches at all levels to plan practices using drills supplied in the application through the practice planning function. The app also includes information related to Pitch Smart, including guidelines, resources, and pitch counting features. Additional tools and resources are also included, and more features will be added over time.
The Play Ball Mobile Coach app features the following:
Mobile interface downloadable from the Apple and Android application stores
Drill library with baseball specific drill documents and videos
Ability for coaches to create practice plans using the drill documents and videos
Pitch Smart pitch counter that allows coaches to enter players and their ages and keep track of pitch counts
Additional tools and resources including a stopwatch and more