Omaha Suburban Families:
I hope this email finds you and your family doing well. While youth sports are important to us, we recognize we are living in unprecedented circumstances, and for many of us, difficult times. Please continue to be vigilant, safe and healthy.
With the Governor’s announcement on Monday, May 11 on Return to Play guidelines for youth baseball and softball, I wanted to provide you with an update on Omaha Suburban’s plans to move forward this season and where things currently stand (as best I can) as of today, Thursday May 14, 2020.
Please keep in mind that every day (sometimes several times a day) the situation evolves, and we learn more about what can and cannot do under the circumstances. We ask for everyone’s continued patience and understanding while we figure out the best path forward.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced guidelines for youth baseball and softball to get underway in June in his COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, May 11. Practices can begin on June 1 and games on June 18. What does this mean for getting our season under way?
- We will schedule single team practices (no scrimmages) at Suburban managed fields starting June 1. Game schedules are being reworked to start on June 18 with seasons concluding in late July.
- No organized team activities (practices, scrimmages, games) are permitted prior to June 1. This will be monitored and enforced.
- Omaha Suburban will be in full compliance with the State’s “Youth Sports Reopening Guidelines” which are detailed here.
- We will announce details for resumption of operations with coaches and families in the coming days and weeks now that we have more tangible dates to use for our plans.
Are Omaha Suburban’s plans for the 2020 season consistent with other organizations in the Omaha area?
- I have continued to meet with the heads of 20 other youth sports associations on a regular basis to ensure that we are all working together and in sync with each other. We worked closely with the Governor’s office on options for opening the season. While one organization has made the decision not to play in 2020, the rest of us are working toward the start dates outlined in Gov. Rickett’s announcement.
If we do not play a season, or have a significantly abbreviated season or if the go forward plan doesn't work for us, will refunds be issued?
- Yes. Now that we have tangible dates for our go forward plan, the OSAA Board of Directors as part of our plans to start the season is assessing refund options if our season is abbreviated or if your family isn't comfortable with returning to play. Refund options will be provided or even the option to roll your balance forward to the next season or apply funds to other activities.
Depending on the type of season that is held, and when it will be held, we may not wish to participate. How will we be notified of our options?
- The OSAA Board will reach out to everyone via an email such as this. Now that we have some tangible dates to use in our plans, the board can finalize our plans including options for opting out of participation if our go forward plan doesn’t work for your family.
Is registration still open and, if so, for how long?
- Registration remains closed for all age groups. Teams with coaches have been formed and uniforms have been delivered, so our ability to flex with team formation remains somewhat limited. If someone is still interested in playing, a coach with room on their roster can approve a late registration, and we’ll order an extra uniform.
Since concession stands will not be open at least at the start of the season, what are Omaha Suburban’s plans for volunteers?
- Volunteer hands will still be needed to support us during the season if we can safely use them. Duties and duration of volunteer shifts will probably be altered. The board is currently assessing volunteer needs and options. Once those plans have been finalized, we will share with all volunteers. We will also provide an option to opt out of volunteer duties if the new plans don’t work for your family.
- Lamp Park and other City of Omaha ballfields remain closed and should not be used for any types of activities in the month of May. Please do not put yourselves or our organization at risk with resumption of any organized team activities before June 1.
- Travel teams and any players/coaches/teams affiliated with Omaha Suburban cannot be practicing or gathering in any form or fashion until June 1.
Things for you to know as we move forward:
- The OSAA Board of Directors is scheduled to meet again on Sunday, May 17. The focus of our meeting will be to finalize plans for opening the season.
- Updates to plans and specifics for the season will be shared with coaches, players, families and umpires as soon as they are known.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. In the meantime, stay safe, and we will be in touch as soon as we have more information to share!