We are happy to say that we have been given the green light by the local health departments to start doing some (limited) softball! We want to offer a 3-week practice clinic session (and maybe a second one if we have time/interest/fields). We are calling this Fall Clinic Squads.
Whether we can actually make this happen will depend on three things: field access, the number of players who want to commit to play, and obtaining enough coaches for each squad.
We know parents and families are super interested in getting their kids outside doing something social, but please do not sign up your kid without feeling very confident that you will actually commit to a practice squad. We are using the responses to this form to create squads, hire coaches, and pay for fields. Again, only fill out the form if you (1) are confident your child wants to play (discuss before signing up, please!), (2) are willing to abide by the health and safety protocols you can see below and in the waiver form available on the website, and (3) can make the practice times work (options below).
We are planning on charging a registration fee of $25 for each player. We will then wait to see if the squads were able to play all three weeks before asking families to pay (only if you are able and on a sliding scale) to try to meet the actual costs of the Clinic Squads.
First things first, health and safety protocols.
No competitive play is allowed, so we will have fun doing drills, practice exercises, and likely some conditioning. This is mandated by the local health officials at this time and, like everything listed below, is not up for debate. So, for example, no scrimmages are allowed during the clinics.
We will put kids into fixed Squads of no more than 14 kids with 2 coaches. Those assignments are set for the three-week period. Coaches cannot switch or help out with other squads and kids cannot go to another squad’s practice.
Players and coaches will maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet at all times.
Players and coaches will wear face masks whenever within 30 feet of any other person.
Players and coaches will take their temperatures before practice and agree not to attend practice if they have a fever (over 100.4) or any other symptom of Covid-19 (cough, sore throat, sneezing, body aches, loss of sense of smell, difficulty breathing, or fatigue).
Players and coaches will notify the league if they are exposed to anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or if they are positive for Covid-19. Any squad in this situation will cease practicing for the remainder of the 3-week session.
Players must bring their own water bottles. Absolutely no sharing of water bottles at any time.
Players must have a personal set of equipment - glove and bat for every age, and for older kids a fielder’s face mask (not just the cloth face mask every player must wear).
Upon request, ABGSL will provide equipment on the first practice to anyone who wants one (a glove, bat, helmet, fielder’s face mask, catching gear) and players will then be responsible for bringing that gear to the entire 3-week session.
Players and coaches should bring a personal container of hand sanitizer to use at every break. Coaches will also bring hand wipes to each practice.
ABGSL can provide hand sanitizer for players upon request and hand wipes to coaches.
Parents/guardians will not be allowed to remain at the field during practice at spectators.
If parents/guardians come to or leave the field with players, they must be wearing face masks at all times.
Now onto the Q&A.
Who gets to play?
We are inviting anyone who registered for Spring ABGSL, any age, to play in these Clinic Squads. If we do not have sufficient interest in a particular age category, we will communicate with you about possible options. As always, 9th graders are welcome and encouraged to play.
We are hoping to do at least one 3-week session of clinics, starting either the last week of September or the early in October (again, depending on field access, yet to be determined). Example of possible time frames: 9/26-10/16 or 10/2-10/23 or 10/10-10/30.
We envision the 4-9th graders to meet 3 times each week for all 3 weeks (2 weekdays and 1 weekend day) and the younger kids likely would be 2 times each week (1 weekday and 1 weekend day).
For the weekdays, the likely times are 3:00-4:30 or 4:45-6:15. The weekend options are also 90 minute segments, between 9:30-5 pm on Saturdays and 10-5:30 on Sundays.
NOTE: We are asking you to indicate times you can COMMIT to on the Google Form attached. Once we see players’ availability we can put the squads together so that each squad will have 3 set days and times, and ideally will meet at the same field each time. You will have a chance to see your times and days before committing with your registration and $25 fee.
This question of fields is still up for grabs, but we are working hard. You will know your field(s) before you commit.
Kids will be placed together based first on age and availability, then friend requests. We intend to honor any and every friend request we receive if the practice times match. So if you plan to write down names to request, please communicate with those families first (before filling out the form) about best times for practice.
Ok, next step is for you to fill out this Google Form if you are quite sure that your kid will commit to three weeks of practices with a Clinic Squad. If you have questions as you are filling that out, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please complete the form by Tuesday, 9/22 at 5:00 pm.
ABGSL Board of Directors
LINKS to Public Health Order:
- Most most recent revisions to the City of Berkeley’s Public Health Order (revised 9/2/20; effective 9/4/20).
- The allowable cohort size for most youth and child activities and programs has expanded to 14, with no more than 2 adults per cohort. See Appendix A, Article 2, item 2.a.
We are a community organization made up of volunteers who care deeply about equity and justice. The Board of ABGSL fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement and the current nation-wide push for racial justice. We know there are systemic barriers and racial inequities throughout our society, and that is true even in a local softball league. We will work to find ways to make ABGSL a more welcome home to all families and a stronger leader for checking white privilege. We are hopeful that this time of protest and listening brings about actual changes—big and small—to make our society stronger and our kids healthier and happier.
- ABGSL Board of Directors, Juneteenth, 2020
Hi ABGSL families and interested new families,
We are still in a holding pattern for organized softball due to COVID-19. As the health orders are beginning to loosen up, we are considering options and communicating with city officials to determine what, if anything, we could offer in the summer for kids to play a little softball.
We are also keeping a close eye on the possibility of a fall league.
As you are all well aware, nothing is certain and things change quickly regarding the pandemic. But we wanted you to know that we would love to have something to offer families when and IF it is safe and approved to do so.
We recently sent out a Google form to get a sense of how interested people are in playing if we are given the green light and find something that would work. Thank you for responding if you did. It was really valuable to see how much interest there is in getting out on the softball field.
At this time, we don’t have anything definite to offer, but please stay tuned as things could change quickly, and as noted above, we are actively working to try to find an option to offer.
As for STING, the ABGSL competitive travel team, we are also still in communication and consideration as to what could happen. Since Alameda County is currently in the stage of opening up with 12 or fewer people to a pod, we are not yet at a point where we can make STING work. But this is very much on our minds and we are actively working to understand what could be possible.
Right now, our continued commitment is to stay in step with official, public health guidance. While we know some softball and baseball teams are moving forward, we will not do so until we are confident we are following the guidance of local officials.
We would LOVE to be out there playing, to give everyone something healthy, productive, and fun to do with their time. Yet we are also keenly aware of the rightful concerns that numbers continue to rise in Alameda County, and we do not yet have readily accessible treatments or developed and tested vaccines.
We certainly hope it becomes an option soon.
In the meantime, if fields are open to public use, you can go out and play. You can pod up with other families who want to play. As we noted in March, if anyone needs access to equipment, please contact us and we can help provide you with league bats or balls to borrow during this restrictive time.
Sports Basement has also agreed to give ABGSL another week of discounted shopping. For the week of 6/21-6/28, you can get 20% off if you are a member (a “Basementeer”) or 11% off all purchases for all non-members. Here is the code for shopping online: 2050010622547. You can use this discount for any purchases, not only for softball.
From Sports Basement: “The discount is good at all 10 locations and online from 6/21-6/28, 20% off for Basementeers and 11% off for Non-Basementeers, Basementeers can stack! Simply show the flyer at checkout or enter the code online. We have enhanced safety measures in place and we are offering curbside pickup at all locations. Your safety along with the safety of our staff will remain our top priority.”
Thank you all for your support of ABGSL. We look forward to seeing you out on the fields when the time is right.
ABGSL Board of Directors
Sports Basement Discount June 21-28
Message Sent to Spring Rec Families - 4.5.20
Dear ABGSL Families,
ABGSL is a non-profit league inspired by and dedicated to community. The League was created by families almost 40 years ago who volunteer their time to have a healthy, fun, and effective athletic environment for girls to play softball together and for families to find connection and support. Here we are in an unprecedented time of crisis: instead of being out on the field, we find ourselves staying at home to try to beat (or at least minimize) an immense threat.
This is a long email, I apologize, but it involves information about (1) the season’s cancellation, (2) available refunds, and (3) ways to support each other in this crisis.
ABGSL would love to play softball. It’s such a great experience to be outside, to see the kids grow and develop skills while forming friendships, and to see the teamwork develop. However, following the lead of Governor Newsom, local health officials, and the public schools, we are officially ending the Spring Rec season.
We know that in times like these, more important than playing softball is supporting the community – families, businesses, teachers, and our efforts to combat Covid-19. We know there are families who could really use their registration fees now, and there are businesses and non-profits that need support.
We have looked over the numbers so far, and our best estimate is that we have already invested about 50% of the total from family registration fees (including field costs, insurance, registration with national associations, uniform and marketing costs, and payments to the teens who led clinics). We may be able to recover some of that money, and we will certainly try.
If you would like a refund, please use this Google Form to let us know. We are offering a range of refunds for those who request it.
If your family needs a refund, please don’t hesitate to do so. If you are willing to forgo a refund of your registration fee to ABGSL, we certainly appreciate that and will use that to cover our costs for the Spring 2020 season. The Google Form will allow you to decline a refund and we can allocate those funds towards our expenses. If we end up taking in more money than our costs, we will donate the remaining amount to another local non-profit that is working directly with those in need during this crisis.
Businesses and Organizations
We all know that some of the ABGSL sponsors and other local businesses and non-profits are hurting. Please consider ways you can support them, such as online ordering, home delivery, and consulting by video. Thank you for checking in with your local favorites, finding out how best to support them, and spreading the word within the community.
Here is a list of 2020 ABGSL Sponsors:
Playing with your kids
Similarly, we don’t want anyone to miss out on at least being able to play catch during this time. Even though use of city playgrounds and recreational areas are prohibited, the public health officials have still indicated you can play ball sports with people with whom you share a household. So, if you need a ball or two, or a glove, or anything, please let us know and we will find a safe way to get that to you. Contact email@example.com.
Network of Support
Finally, if your family needs support, or you know of someone who needs support in this crisis, ABGSL can be a resource. Within our network, we know there are people who could grocery shop, who have professional expertise and contacts, who can make face masks, or even who could check in to make sure people are ok. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org anytime for anything, and we will do our best to help.
ABGSL Board of Directors
OPENING DAY: Saturday, March 7. CHANGE OF LOCATION AND TIMES!!
We will now be at Albany High School Gym
Micros (kindergarten and 1st grade) = 9-10:00 am
Younger (2nd and 3rd grade) = 10:00-11:00
Middle (4th and 5th grade) = 11-12
Older (6th-9th grade) = 12-1
2020 Season = Saturday, March 7 - Saturday, June 6.
Micro (Kindergarten and 1st Grade) $99
After February 1, Younger, Middle, and Older divisions will accept waitlist registrations. Micros registration will remain open until March. If you have questions, contact the league at email@example.com and a parent volunteer will get back to you.
Younger (2nd and 3rd Grade) $215
Middle (4th and 5th Grade) $230
Older (6th thru 9th Grade) $250
Scholarships are available and must be requested and finalized prior to completing the online registration. To request a scholarship, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABGSL provides fun recreational and competitive softball for girls in grades K-9 on fields all across Albany and Berkeley, CA. The league's main recreational season runs from March til June with competitive and additional recreational programs at other times of the year. Founded in 1983, ABGSL is a non-profit, all volunteer league that offers a positive softball experience for every girl who wants to play.
Micros Division is for Kindergarten and First Grade kids. Micros meets every Saturday of the season from 9-11 am at Jane Hammond Field in Codornices Park. After the first few weeks of practice, teams will practice the first hour and play games the second hour each Saturday.
Younger Division is for Second and Third Grade kids. Younger Division players meet three times a week - kids can sign up for M/W/Sat or T/Th/Sat. The times for the weekday practices are 5:30-7, and Saturday practices are 90 minutes starting at either 11, 1, or 3. Games begin a few weeks into the season and can occur on weekdays or Saturdays. Weekday games are 5-7 and Saturdays can be 11-1, 1-3, or 3-5. Saturday times vary throughout the season, but the full schedule is set and available on Opening Day.
Middle Division is for Fourth and Fifth Grade kids. Older Division is for Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Grade kids. Middle and Older Division weekday practices are 5:30-7, and Saturday practices are 90 minutes starting at either 11, 1, or 3. Games begin a few weeks into the season and can occur on weekdays or Saturdays. Weekday games are 5-7 and Saturdays can be 9-11, 11-1, 1-3, or 3-5. Saturday times vary throughout the season, but the full schedule is set and available on Opening Day.
ABGSL is a 501(c)(3) organization that solely relies on volunteer and community support. All donations to us are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Make a donation by clicking the Donate button.
Please support ABGSL by making us your beneficiary of your shopping at Amazon! Click this link and remember to use smile.amazon.com when shopping! http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2958214
Dear ABGSL Families,
Registration for 2020 ABGSL Spring Season is now open. Be sure to register as early as possible to secure your family's spot in Albany Berkeley Girls Softball League's 38th Spring recreational season.