Crystal/Robbinsdale American Little League Cancels 2020 Season
Youth baseball games won’t happen at Crystal and Robbinsdale American Little League fields this summer. The combined league’s board of directors met Tuesday night and decided to cancel the 2020 baseball season due to COVID-19 concerns.
“I understand the frustration, but we need to look at the big picture, and this virus has taken over worldwide and is causing a lot of problems everywhere you go. We want to make sure everyone remains safe and, hopefully, virus-free,” said John Ripka, president of the Crystal/Robbinsdale American Little League.
The Crystal Little League and Robbinsdale Little League combined for the 2020 season. They made the move due to low registration numbers. The organization is hoping to continue with its sandlot program, beginning Aug. 1 or earlier, if restrictions are lifted.
“It was a hard decision,” said Ripka about canceling the season. “We’ve been waiting for two months to try and get out and play. It’s the best spring weather we’ve had in a long time, and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go to our fields.”
Crystal/Robbinsdale Little League to Offer Refunds
This year, about 245 players registered to play ball. They will get a refund for the season. However, it won’t be for the full amount.
“Families who have registered will get their registration fees returned, minus the processing fees. We don’t have a way of recovering from the company that handles our registrations,” explained Ripka.
The voided season will also cause difficulties in the overall budget. The league has lots of donors or sponsors, but the organization is not sure if it will receive money this year with the season cut.
“We will return their sponsorship fees if they request them back. We will ask them if they’re okay if they are not returned. But, we understand, and if they want the money returned, we will give it back,” said Ripka.
The Crystal/Robbinsdale Little League will be looking for more donations and grants to help offset any costs they have incurred this year.
“It’s probably a $30,000 loss for us. That’s just in registration fees,” said Ripka.
Other Youth Leagues Wonder About Future
Meanwhile, other youth baseball teams are fielding questions about the future of their season. Governor Tim Walz didn’t specifically address the issue during Wednesday’s press conference as anticipated.
There is a youth sports alliance working with a governor’s task force on a “Back to Baseball/Softball” strategy. This alliance has met with the governor’s task force almost daily for the past week to work out a plan, but so far, the Walz administration hasn’t officially agreed on a plan.
The Plymouth Wayzata Baseball Association, Plymouth-New Hope Little League, Brooklyn Center Little League, Champlin-Dayton Athletic Association Baseball, and the Brooklyn Park Athletic Association are among those waiting for more guidance from the governor.
The only other team from the CCX News coverage area to cancel the season so far is Hopkins Area Little League.