Maple Valley PONY Baseball & Fastpitch

Baseball Fastpitch

News Detail

14

Jul, 2020

2020 Fall Ball Update

Hello Maple Valley Pony families.  We hope this finds you all healthy and safe.  We know that these past several months have been, and continue to be, very challenging.  During this pandemic, many people have lost loved ones, lost jobs, been disconnected from family and friends, adjusted to new patterns of shopping and dining, and adjusted to remote working and remote schooling.  We are all also learning to live with new norms of social distancing and other health and safety protocols.  And of course those of us engaged in “essential” businesses have continued to go into work, despite elevated risk levels, in order to provide critical goods and services for our communities.  All of these behavioral and economic hardships have created a lot of stress, for both parents and children.

As communities are gradually trying to open back up and re-establish some sense of normalcy, Maple Valley Pony recognizes the importance and value of sports – especially to children – and wants to do our part to help in that process of healing.  King County is currently in Phase 2, which allows for outdoor recreation involving five or fewer people.  Although that does not yet allow for a full baseball experience, we are nevertheless opening up Fall Ball registration in the hope that things will improve over the next four weeks and we will enter Phase 3 which will allow up to 50 people.  Looking at trends in the news, the chances of that happening are frankly not very good.  So at this time we are just accepting waitlist registration (no payments yet) in order to gauge interest in a fall season.

Please note that as always, the safety, health, and wellbeing of the players, coaches, umpires, and fans is of primary importance to Maple Valley Pony.  And that is even more true in response to COVID-19.  The Maple Valley Pony Board has established new protocols for returning to play, and there will be new expectations for everyone.  This entire message will be emailed out to all families, so please see the document attached to that email for details of these new changes.  The Board reserves the right to adjust this document, especially as new government directives and guidelines are released, but it should be close to what the final protocols will be. 

If we are able to have a Fall Ball season, things will definitely be different before, during, and after practices and games.  These changes in themselves could cause additional stress, especially for younger players.  But we ask for your understanding and support of these necessary changes.  If you and your player can indeed support these changes, and can accept the risk of playing baseball and being around other people, then please do register.  Registration will be open from July 16 through August 2.  Please note that at the end of the registration process there is a new required waiver and assumption of risk that includes potential exposure to communicable diseases such as COVID-19.

Government directives are changing rapidly, so our current plan is to make the call on whether we can have the Fall Ball season by August 16 at the latest.  To make that happen, several things would have to fall into place, most importantly King County entering Phase 3 and also our primary field owners (King County Parks, Tahoma School District, Kent School District) opening up their fields for reservations.  With the season scheduled to run from August 22 to October 17, that certainly doesn’t leave our volunteers much time to reserve fields, put together teams, find enough coaches, run coach background checks, purchase some kind of uniform, create practice and game schedules, etc, but we will do our best because we know how important this is to the kids.

2020 Fall Ball Details (subject to change this fall due to circumstances mentioned above):

  • Registration:July 16 through August 2.
  • “Go” Decision Date:August 16 at the latest.
  • Season Start:August 22 (practices).First games will be after Labor Day.
  • Season End:October 17.
  • Baseball Divisions Offered:Pinto, Mustang, Bronco, and Pony (please note this is baseball only; no fastpitch).
  • Cost:$100 per player (sibling discounts available).
  • Hat and jersey provided.
  • Typical Practice and Game Cadence:
    • Practices twice per week (Pinto & Mustang are usually Monday and Wednesday; Bronco & Pony are usually Tuesday and Thursday).
    • Games on Saturdays (possibly doubleheaders) and occasionally on Fridays.

Fall Ball is a more laid-back atmosphere where we focus on the fundamentals of the game and preparing players for the division that they will play in next spring.  Players should sign up for the division they will be joining next spring according to their age bracket.  Please note that starting this fall the new Pony International standard age cutoff of August 31 will fully encompass the Mustang division and will start affecting the Bronco division.

  • Pinto:  players who will be 7 or 8 years old as of August 31, 2021.
  • Mustang:  players who will be 9 or 10 years old as of August 31, 2021.
  • Bronco:  players who will be 11 or 12 years old as of April 30, 2021 and some older 10 yr olds.
  • Pony:  players who will be 13 or 14 years old as of April 30, 2021. Especially since the spring season was canceled, 15 year olds are also welcome to register for the fall season but if accepted will have playing restrictions such as not being eligible to pitch.

Space is limited and roster spots will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis, so please sign up as soon as possible.  We always need more Head and Assistant Coaches in all divisions, so please consider volunteering so that we have enough coaches to meet the player demand and won't have to turn away kids. 

It is also critical that we get several new members for the league Board of Directors.  Anybody is certainly welcome to apply, but we would especially like to see parents of younger children (Shetland, Pinto, and Mustang) get involved and potentially stay involved for multiple years if possible.  Please contact me or any of the other Board members listed on our website to learn more.

Again, we hope you and your family are healthy and safe, and are making the best of your summer so far.  If things go well, we will see you on the field again soon!  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  Thank you for your support!

Regards,
Chris Mazza
Baseball General Manager / Player Agent
Maple Valley Pony Baseball & Fastpitch

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Maple Valley PONY Baseball & Fastpitch

P.O. Box 414 
Maple Valley, Washington 98038

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