Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

UpdatedFriday June 26, 2020 byNew Lenox Baseball Association.

Friday, June 26, 2020 ~2:30PM

Dear Rebels Families,

With Illinois moving into Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, the NLBA board has approved high-level plans for the return of all of our IN-HOUSE baseball programs.  The registration period will be very short, so be sure to register as soon as you can when it opens!

Our travel baseball teams have been practicing under the Phase 3 restrictions in limited numbers, and will be able to return to game play starting this weekend in Phase 4.  The travel baseball season will be ending at the time we will be re-starting up the in-house programs, which will help us with maintaining crowd levels that allow for the proper social distancing.

Baseball will look different with social distancing protocols in place, and we will all need to make adjustments and concessions.  We, as a league, also need to consider this in our tentative schedule planning and related rules of assembly and play, especially since we are a very large league with a single, large baseball complex.  We appreciate everyone’s consideration and appreciation of this as we move forward.  The Phase 4 Return to Play protocols will be available on our website very soon.

Refund registration from the spring in-house session was closed a few weeks ago.  Volunteers have been working hard to process the refund requests.  As of the writing of this message, all account credits have been applied and are available on those accounts to use on your next registration.  For refunds, 95+% have been mailed with only a few remaining.  We appreciate the patience of those awaiting refunds.  If you did not register for a refund, we are currently going through those accounts and processing account credits.  This is an effort that we never could have anticipated, and it required a great deal of manual effort.

Extended Fall Ball - Tentative Plans:

IN-HOUSE (recreational) baseball - Shetland, Maverick, Pinto, Mustang, Bronco, Pony

  • July 1st - registration opens
  • $175 per player with no activity fee
  • Teams formed end of July/ early August
  • Practices begin Early to Mid-August
  • First games would be Mid to Late August and run thru Early to Mid-October (No games on Labor Day weekend)
  • 14 Game regular season (past few years have been 10 games)
  • 2 games per week, one weekday and one Saturday
  • Single Elimination playoffs at each level (Fall Ball historically has not had playoffs)
  • If there is enough interest, we may have only New Lenox teams, and play all games at Tyler-Bentley (historically, Fall Ball has been coordinated and shared with teams from local cities)
  • Full Uniforms (Fall Ball has been historically just jersey and hat)
  • Also open to having Maverick & Shetland levels for Fall Ball, if there is enough interest, which historically has not happened.
  • Age divisions may be kept the same as they were for Spring 2020 (historically, in Fall Ball players all move up to the division they would be in for the spring of the following year)

SWILA (Colt, Palomino)

  • July 1st - registration opens
  • Fee TBD
  • Teams formed end of July/ early August
  • 16-18 game schedule with games beginning mid-August, practices beginning early-August.
  • Depending on the playoff schedule, could run to the end of October.

 

Sunday, April 24, 2020 ~4:55PM

Dear Rebels Families,

I hope that this message finds you all safe and well in these uncertain times.

With the governor’s recent announcement that the Illinois stay at home order will be extended through May, we are now faced with very tough decisions regarding spring and summer baseball in New Lenox.  While the recently extended stay at home order is currently set to expire after May 30, it is expected that social distancing and limits on group gatherings will continue.  NLBA recognizes that in a baseball playing environment, players and coaches are in close contact in the dugouts and share certain types of equipment.  A gathering of a single baseball game including players and family spectators is roughly 50 people, on average.  A full slate of games at the Tyler-Bentley complex of 15 fields will equate to approximately 750 - 800 people.  We have kept this in mind as we have monitored this situation and the related recommendations and will continue to do so.

NLBA organizes IN-HOUSE (recreational), High School and Collegiate, and Travel Baseball programs.  Each of these programs have different needs and logistical hurdles that we are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In this message we will address the state of each program separately.

All NLBA activities will continue to be suspended, indefinitely, for all programs at this time.

IN-HOUSE (recreational) baseball - Shetland, Maverick, Pinto, Mustang, Bronco, Pony

It is with heavy hearts that we are forced to cancel the 2020 Spring session of IN-HOUSE baseball.  While the board had internally created plans to start this session as late as June 1st, the logistics of starting up later than that simply don’t make sense for the league or for many of our players and their families.  It is now apparent that it is better to focus our efforts and our hopes toward playing baseball in late summer / early fall.

We are now looking at options to organize an expanded 2020 Fall session.  Our hope is that we may be able to have this expanded session start in August and go through October, increasing the number of Fall games, and providing full uniforms.

With the 2020 IN-HOUSE spring session canceled, you will be able to choose one of the following options:

  • You can elect to receive a 100% credit for the full amount paid to use for the 2020 Fall Baseball Session*
  • You can elect to receive a 100% credit for the full amount paid to use for the 2021 Spring Baseball Session *
  • You can elect to receive a 100% refund via check or by credit card (Please allow 4 to 6 weeks to process your request for this option)

* If 2020 Fall Ball or 2021 Spring Fees increase compared to what you paid for the 2020 Spring Session, you will not need to pay the increase if you choose the credit option.

We are happy and fortunate to be able to provide full credits/refunds for this session.  Many league expenses have already been incurred, and very significant investments have been made in the fields, which started last fall.  As a non-profit organization, we will be stretched to the edges of our means to be able to provide full refunds.  So, we ask that if you are at all able to opt for Credit, please choose that option.

We will be setting up a sign-up session for you to choose whether league credit or check / credit card refund works best for you and your family. The details will be included in a separate communication in the coming days.

 

High School and Collegiate baseball (Colt, Palomino, Collegiate)

Our High School and Collegiate baseball divisions partner with SWILA Baseball (Southwest Chicago Inter-League Association).  SWILA has a meeting planned for early May to discuss plans.  Therefore, we expect to have more information by mid-May.  NLBA will support the plans of SWILA within our abilities, while following state and local regulations and authorities.

 

Travel Baseball (Full-time and Part-time)

We realize that Travel baseball teams and families have already incurred significant costs for uniforms, off-season training, and in some cases administrative fees charged for tournaments that are being cancelled.  We are currently working with Travel team managers to determine how long each team can wait to start-up their seasons.

We have been forced to cancel our own annual Memorial Day baseball tournament, and we will continue to monitor the situation as we approach the scheduled Gameday Silver Series and C.A.N. tournaments in late June and early July.

NLBA will support the plans of Rebels Travel teams within our abilities, while following state and local regulations and authorities.

 

Tyler-Bentley Complex Field Usage

The Tyler-Bentley Complex is currently closed.  We understand that many people access the fields for non-NLBA related activities when we are not in session.  The cost and time required for maintenance, and especially the recent field renovations, are very significant and we ask that everyone be respectful if using the fields on your own should usage of park district areas be re-opened.  Do not use the fields if they are wet (if you are leaving footprints, they are too wet).  Do not dig-in on mounds and batters’ boxes, etc.  Clean up garbage or other debris.  We are already seeing damage cause by irresponsible field usage even before we have been able to hold a single game or practice on the fields.  Let’s take pride as a Rebels community in the field complex that we have and help preserve it for a long time to come!

 

All of us at NLBA miss baseball greatly.  We miss the smell of the grass, the sun, the sense of community, and the smiling faces of children playing a game that we all love.  It is more important than ever that we all support each other, and our community, during these trying times.  We will be together playing ball again soon!

Please keep in mind the many terrific local businesses that sponsor NLBA that need all of our support:  http://www.newlenoxrebels.com/site/ClientSite/sponsors

 

Sunday, March 29, 2020 ~6:40PM

As health and government officials continue to combat the spread of COVID-19, the New Lenox Baseball Association continues to monitor the situation and the associated recommendations.  In cooperation with current social distancing recommendations and shelter-in place orders, NLBA is extending the suspension of all activities, until further notice.  This includes both in-house and travel baseball practices and games of any kind, equipment pick-up, picture day, etc.

We are currently working on backup plans for a late start and possible later summer play for in-house baseball.  However, the current fluidity of the COVID-19 situation does not allow us to finalize and announce anything definitive, at this time. 

Our travel baseball teams are faced with a unique set of challenges, since they play many of their games and tournaments away from our Tyler-Bentley complex.  We are working on understanding how we can address these challenges from an organizational standpoint, as well.

As soon as it is known when we will be able to again gather as a Rebels community and play baseball, we will move quickly to organize and communicate.

Our travel baseball teams are faced with a unique set of challenges, since they play many of their games and tournaments away from our Tyler-Bentley complex.  We are working on understanding how we can address these challenges from an organizational standpoint, as well.

We ask for your patience in this difficult and unprecedented time.  It takes an extraordinary amount of effort from all the NLBA board volunteers, sponsors, umpires, and suppliers to plan, organize, and schedule each baseball season.  Know that we are prepared to do whatever it takes within our power and abilities to bring baseball to New Lenox this summer, if it is at all possible.

We extend a heartfelt thank you to all Rebels Families, Volunteers, Sponsors, and Suppliers.  We look forward to being back on the fields with all of you soon.

 

Friday, March 13, 2020 ~6:00PM

In coordination with the recent announcement from the governor, New Lenox School District, and New Lenox Community Park District, all NLBA activities - both travel and in-house baseball - are to be suspended starting tomorrow, Saturday March 14 through Monday, April 6.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it continues to develop.

We appreciate the cooperation of all coaches, players, and families during this difficult time.

 

Friday, March 13, 2020 ~12:40PM

The NLBA considers the health and safety of our players, coaches, and families our top priority.  With that in mind, we have been closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus (formally known as COVID-19).

Over the course of this week, we have been in contact with the New Lenox Community Park District (NLCPD), and we have also been monitoring correspondence and direction from New Lenox School District 122, local and state government officials, the CDC, and the ILDPH.

Our current position is that we will follow directions from local officials, the NLCPD, and the New Lenox School District, as their directions and actions correlate to baseball activities.  Currently, the most correlative direction we have seen is that the CDC and Illinois state officials are recommending to cancel and/or postpone events that consist of over 250 people.  The NLBA does not have any events planned that would exceed that number of people until the start of practices at Tyler-Bentley after April 1st, at the earliest.  We hesitate to postpone or cancel any planned events too far in advance at this time, because the recommendations have been changing day to day and may continue to change.

While we are currently not in formally active in-house season with scheduled practices and games at the Tyler-Bentley complex, there are travel and in-house teams that are practicing or playing games indoors in various locations and facilities.

  • At this time, we are not mandating that practices or games be cancelled.
    • Team managers will need to use their best judgement and contact practice or game / tournament directors and facilities to determine if they are still open and communicate that to their teams.
  • Managers, coaches, players, and family members should stay home if you feel sick.
  • Attendance to any events during this time must be considered optional, at the discretion of each family and their specific concerns and health needs.
  • Those choosing to attend team events should be taking all recommended precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.  The NLBA is an entirely volunteer run organization, and we do not have any medical expertise or authority.  Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to self-educate on this topic and follow the recommendations of the CDC, ILDPH, and local officials.

    Please refer to the below links for additional information: