The South Florida League is different from most other Collegiate Leagues. Most leagues include teams from multiple states, sometimes even more than one country. The SFCL doesn’t cross any state lines, they only span 2 counties and are very close in proximity with all of the teams. The SFCL also has time.
Many roster spots for players that are out-of-state and living in more impacted areas are already held well into summer every year for players participating in regionals, playoffs and the College World Series.
“Most road trips are no more than about 30 minutes.” Commissioner Vince Farfaglia stated. “We don’t have to worry about averaging 1,000 fans a night, we’re not very host-family heavy.
Out of all the established leagues, the SFCL has one of the best chances to get the full season in. The things that needed to happen to get the ball rolling have just been passed in state and county government via a breaking announcement from palmbeachpost.com https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20200427/coronavirus-florida-county-parks-golf-courses-pools-marinas-will-reopen-wednesday?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=ghf-palmbeach-main
The shelter in place orders will expire on Wednesday the 29th of April for South Florida, one day earlier than their original date. Parks and public facilities will open along with beaches, golf courses, pools, and marinas, setting the stage for fields and athletic facilities to be next.
The league has stepped up to the plate and taken major steps in the name of disease mitigation. No celebrations or handshakes post-game, most players will be behind their dugouts outside fences or behind bullpens, no water coolers, only personal bottled water, plate umpires must wear a “mask” underneath their mask. “We just went out and bought a TON of disinfectant spray, I mean like GALLONS. We’re going to be sanitizing the baseballs between every single inning. As a league, we went out and bought these bottles because you just can’t lead a horse to water, there’s no excuse. You have to do everything you can possibly do.” Asked if there would be a moratorium on gum and sunflower seeds Vince laughed and said probably.
The commish is looking out for his guys. So they have more space, he secured more rooms at the local Marriott where his out-of-town players will dwell. Officials plan to disinfect common areas 3 times a day. Farfaglia also mentioned rather sadly that there won’t be any post-game meals or spreads for his players. Traditional meals after long days and weekends, where whole teams could sit together and be treated to pizza or subs will have to be eliminated for player safety. A meal plan would still be available for housed players.
The South Florida Collegiate League is known for some hot weather and hot hitting during summer nights in the Miami/Dade/Broward County area. In order to add more relief in the midst of potential 95-degree double-headers the league added some extra roster spots for pitchers capping off teams at 40.
The league is also fortunate as many classic spring training grounds nearby are willing to open their doors even if other fields cancel. “It’s so important, not only for the player’s development but people’s mental psyche.” The SFCL is doing everything they can to be as safe as possible and still be a fun developmental program for their next group of stars.
Skyler Whitfield - CSBN