Rigorous COVID-19 protocol allows league to restart Watch a game and join in the fun as kids with special needs are paired with buddies to play ball on Sat., March 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tampa, Fla. (March 19, 2021) – Players, buddies, coaches and fans are excited to be back on the field as Buddy Baseball resumes play and celebrates the league’s 1,000th game. Players with special needs, buddies, coaches, volunteers, families and fans will come together on Saturday, March 20 to celebrate the milestone. No high fives – but loud clapping, smiles and cheers are encouraged.
“Our 2020 Spring season was cut short and we did not have a Fall season for the safety of our players and families. We’ve put together a strict COVID-19 protocol so we could resume play for the 2021 Spring season,” said Russ Oberbroeckling, Executive Director, Buddy Baseball. “You could feel the energy as players and buddies picked up their uniforms – one father commented his son would have spent the night at the fields if he could as he was so excited to get back to playing ball!”
There are 16 teams for this Spring season with 101 players, 103 buddies and 45 coaches. With six players in wheelchairs or walkers and several with mobility issues, the players now have a synthetic baseball field that is wheelchair accessible and safer for play. The project was funded by the State of Florida and Hillsborough County and completed in 2020.
The league encourages everyone to come out and experience a game and see the joy this league brings to kids who can now participate in a team sport in a setting where their special and unique needs are understood and embraced.
WHEN Saturday, March 20, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE Temple Terrace Parks & Recreation – Family Recreation Complex(Fields behind Lewis Elementary) – 6700 Whiteway Drive, Temple Terrace, FL 33617
Click here for a full copy of Buddy Baseball’s Return to Play Protocol. Some of the safety measures taking place include:
- Temperature checks and a completion of a health questionnaire to enter the fields for every game.
- Masks to be worn at all times. (Except children five years of age and younger.)
- Volunteers will disinfect the bleachers, dugouts and restrooms before each game.
- Bleachers will have rows and seats blocked off for no seating and social distancing. Spectators encouraged to bring their own chairs.
- The after-game team handshake replaced with clapping lines.
- No high fives, handshakes or intentional physical contact.
- Hand sanitizing stations located in the dugouts and around the ball fields.
- No water coolers in the dugouts.
- Virtual buddy training.
“If not for the dedication of our volunteers we could not have resumed play as the new procedures require substantially more time to implement,” said Oberbroeckling. “Several other organizations and volunteer groups have stepped forward to assist at the field and through donations of safety equipment and sanitization products.”
ABOUT BUDDY BASEBALL Buddy Baseball is a non-competitive recreational league for boys and girls ages 8 to 22 with special needs. Each player is paired with a buddy to assist on the field and in the dugout. Buddy Baseball’s inaugural season began October 2009 through a dedicated group of volunteers attracting 36 players and 38 buddies to form six teams. Since then, Buddy Baseball has accomplished more than was ever imaginable on and off the field. At the start of the 21st season in September 2019, the league had grown to 20 teams with more than 125 different schools participating. Buddy Baseball is seeking additional donations and sponsorships to support the growing league. All donations are a tax-deductible investment to the league. Donations can be made online at http://buddybaseball.org/sponsorships/donations/or by contacting Russ Oberbroeckling, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we started in the Fall of 2009. We have had:· Over 1,900 players· Over 2,000 buddies· Over 1,000 coaches· Over 40,000 community service hours· $21,000 in Buddy Scholarships to 48 buddies
CONNECT Web: www.BuddyBaseball.org Facebook: @buddybaseballInstagram: @buddybaseballtampa Twitter: @buddy__baseball YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHWDOxpEOkkC8iJ2UvV2m8A Email: Russ@BuddyBasebll.orgPhone: 813-416-5742