On 6/26/20 I emailed all registered players the plan for BAWS on the originally scheduled weekend July 10-11. Here is that update:
With Covid-19 regulations/guidelines put in place by the state of California and San Joaquin County, BAWS 2020 will have two phases. The workout/testing portion will be held on July 10/11 at Islanders Field in Lathrop. The games phase will take place later in the summer, though with the NCAA recruiting dead period now extended to August 31, an idea of holding the games in early August may be adjusted, perhaps into early September. The location is TBD. I am also working on figuring out the streaming options as well. I have dates at Islanders Field for Aug 8-10, so that also remains a possibility.
There is a link to the organization of those first two days
As of now we are still scheduled for the original dates and working on a format that will work within facility guidelines. We also have future dates secured at the venue and have been assured by the facility operator that we will have dates made available to us no matter how late in summer or fall we might need.
What we don't know is when games will be allowed at the host facility, so there is a very good chance we will do all the showcase workouts on the original dates of July 10-12, with future dates for the games portion of the event. I am also working on streaming options for the event.
I will have details on how that will look by Friday June 26 and will email the registered participants.
We will follow the local guidelines for San Joaquin County along with the guidelines for the host facility.
Those reading this are very likely aware that the NCAA recruiting dead period for recruiting has been pushed out to July 31. I have been told with significant confidence that the deadline may get pushed even further, out to August 31. Of course, until it is, it is just hearsay.
So at this time we have not made any changes to the dates. Each week it feels like we get closer to a more normal setting for kids on a ball field, and if possible, I'd like to run the event as close to normal as I can, and that includes being able to have coaches in the stands or observing in some manner. That would obviously eliminate July dates, though with streaming services and the like, it's not out of the question to still go in July and provide significant exposure for the players.
That being said, I do have two future weekends booked at the same facilty as fallback dates if need be, August 8-10 and September 5-7, which is Labor Day weekend.
That is the lay of the land today. I will continue to assess the landscape and see where we fit, so as to maximize the benefit for the players and the college coaches.
In the coming weeks, Bay Area World Series (BAWS) will be ready to serve our baseball community again. The manner and means of re-opening will be determined by responsibly following all local, county, state and federal safety guidelines, as BAWS will prioritize the health and well-being of players, families, scouts and staff. At this time the dates remain the same, July 10-12, with the 13th also being reserved.
Above all, our top priority is the health and safety of the baseball community we serve. I will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments under the guidance of local, county and state health officials.
As California gradually comes out of isolation and shelter-in-place guidelines, we all desire the connection and community that baseball provides to us. We all want baseball. Players, no matter the age, have had the spring season stripped away and, in many cases, players need the critical summer season in hopes of earning future opportunities in the game.
However, I understand that players and families will want/expect experiences that are safe, while also being familiar and convenient. With health and safety prioritized, we are adapting BAWS 2020 to meet the evolving expectations and societal changes.
Every state - and even counties and cities within the states - are treated differently depending on their phased local safety guidelines. As we responsibly move toward playing baseball again in California, we are ready to adapt to provide a high-quality baseball showcase experience for players, families, and scouts. We are seeking to identify forward-looking initiatives to address the realities of the current situation.
At BAWS, we will operate with caution, under safety protocols meeting governmental guidance. We will likely have to alter check-in processes, perhaps organize players in time slots/groups in order to complete the activities that are part of the BAWS experience. The safety protocols and guidelines will be communicated prior to, and during the event, to provide for the safety of all players and staff. Islanders Field is working with local agencies to deliver the safest atmosphere for events they host. I am in frequent communication with our venue host to follow their recommended practices for sanitation and disinfection of common high-traffic areas.
These adaptations will reinforce our safety-first commitment while responsibly helping the players and scouts alike inch closer back to what they've always known at the ballpark.
You can keep an eye on the BAWS-Covid-19 landing page for future updates.
I am sure all registered players for BAWS 2020 are wondering about the summer and how things will be affected by the coronavirus and social distancing measures. Include me among those who are wondering.
BAWS 2020 is presently planned for July 10-12(13). Like many organizations, we are preparing to hit a moving target and obviously that is challenging. In lieu of that, I have secured future dates (at Islanders Field) if BAWS 2020 has to be pushed back in the calendar. Again, that is an IF. I have 100% assurance of from the facility administrator that we will be able to use Islanders Field.
I am also working on adjusted formats for the event, again, if need be. I believe there are formats that can work to keep players and staff safe and within social distance guidelines. Of course, again, it must be said that we do not yet know what those guidelines will look like for mid-July, late July, August, September, or October, though we are getting some more clear ideas of what it will all look like.
In the near future I will script out our safety protocols, which I will then distribute via email and post on the BAWS site. I will also distribute event-execution protocols when they are solidified. The BAWS menu bar will have future communications published there when appropriate. I understand that no matter each individual's stance on the shelter-in-place procedures, safety precautions/guidelines, etc., this is serious stuff and we are at the beginning of a long road ahead, speaking specifically to where BAWS and showcases are positioned in the sports world.
Things that will be addressed:
Safety measures - Players
Safety measures - Staff
Social distancing at check-in & within the complex
Event format adjustments - showcase portion & game play portion
At Islanders Field there will be some specific precautions put in place as the facility staff determines what will be permitted by the state, San Joaquin County, and the city of Lathrop. It seems there are some basics procedures/precautions included in a forward plan that will be put in place, such as...
1. PPE and face masks for staff and umpires
2. Testing will likely not be required by the facility
3. Increased frequency of custodial staff cleaning and sanitizing the facility between games/field activities
4. Washing stations will be added to the dugouts
5. Hand sanitizers available in the dugouts, within the stadium, and the restrooms
6. Concessions will NOT be opened in the early stages of reopening the stadium. We will know more by BAWS dates
7. Facility has added two vending machines for drinks and plans to add additional for home and visitor
8. Seeds NOT permitted; facility pondering a protein bar vending option
9. Adhere to 6' social distance guidelines, which eliminates player meetings, mound visits, etc.
10. Longer breaks between games/field activities to allow for dispersion of people. Warm-ups can take place on adjacent soccer fields. No contact between teams
11. One team permitted in batting cage at a time
12. Dugouts sanitized between games. Dugouts are LARGE enough to keep social distance
13. Online streaming will be added value for the players' exposure
There will be MUCH more in place by the time BAWS rolls around, specific procedures and guidelines, perhaps additional waivers of liability for assumption of risk of Coronavirus/COVID-19. That will be something for me to work through with the insurance company, as well as with the required policy for the facility.
When I DO have information that is tangible and concrete I will notify all registered players/families. In the meantime, be well, keep working hard at school, your minds, your bodies and your game.
You can read it via SportStars Magazine or simply read it here...
It’s National Letter of Intent (NLI) week for high school student-athletes. I have a twitter account so I have seen lots of posts, celebrating the accomplishments of many hard working and deserving student-athletes. However, in the age of social media and in the age of recruiting that so greatly celebrates the signing of a National Letter of Intent, there are other sides to the narrative with regard to NLI week that I’d like to share.
As a former Major League Baseball scout and former Division I recruiting coordinator, I’ve been asked for a lot of advice and my insights over the years. I’ve run my own showcase for a long time (Bay Area World Series, est. 2004), I’ve worked for nationally known showcase/tournament/ranking organizations, and due to my experience, I’ve learned and observed things that I’d like to pass along.
The first thing I’d like to pass along is for the kids who have not yet had an opportunity to sign in the early signing period or not yet secured an opportunity to continue competing at the college level. There is a lot of glitz and fanfare and attention given to kids who have earned such an opportunity, and they deserve congratulations. However, there is another signing period in the spring. All the spots on college rosters are not gone after the early signing period. There are still opportunities for you. In fact, the NLI is only for kids who have committed to NCAA D1 and D2 programs. There are hundreds of D3 programs, and NAIA programs, and junior college programs looking for hard working and talented student-athletes. Even the D1 and D2 programs are not done recruiting after the early signing period.
There are non-scholarship roster spots at D1 and D2 programs, if that is the level you aspire to. There are spots for recruited walk-ons, kids who receive academic scholarships and those who qualify for financial aid and also for kids whose family’s can afford college out of pocket. There are only a few sports that are ‘head count’ sports, which means that every player on that team/roster has a scholarship. In fact, most sports are equivalency sports, meaning that scholarships can (and are) broken up into fractions in order to provide aid to more kids and again, not all of those fractional scholarships are offered and spoken for in the early signing period.
Ok, so that chunk of knowledge I shared isn’t a secret in this day and age. I know there are a lot of players/families that are aware of the recruiting landscape, scholarships, roster spots, early signing vs spring signing, different levels of college competition, etc. The next chunk of knowledge I’d like to share is different, and not always acknowledged.
Every player who gets a scholarship will not finish playing at that school. Scholarships are not 4-year guarantees at every school. Players who put too much stock in this part (the early signing part) of the journey toward being a college student-athlete will soon find themselves wondering what the heck they got themselves into when they get to college. It is fantastic that you have earned a scholarship, it puts you in rare (truly) company and it is a significant accomplishment, but it is only a part of the journey.
When a freshman gets to a college team, all of a sudden an 18-year old, maybe even a 17-year old, is teammates and sharing a locker room with 21, 22, maybe even a 23-year old. Think about that. The difference in competition, maturity, coaching, daily time management skills needed, and lifestyle (no longer at home with mom and pops) are night and day. A high school senior headed to college has just recently competed against other high school competitors, some of whom are a couple of years younger than a senior. This is not to scare anyone, this is to bring awareness of the challenges that lie ahead. Those challenges are real. The talent funnel gets tighter, the experience of the competition is greater, the stakes are higher (yep, the college coaches are paid and keeping that job has a lot to do with winning more than losing).
So, celebrate the NLI, for a minute, then get back to work. Start working harder than you did to get to this point, because if you don’t, the signing of the NLI will be the highlight of your sports career, as will your twitter or instagram post noting your accomplishment. Accept the challenge that lies ahead. It’s a significant challenge.
As for those of you still looking for your opportunity, whether that means a roster spot opportunity or competing at a smaller level of collegiate athletics or continuing your development at the junior college level (which I am a fan of), your not having the opportunity to sign a NLI is a challenge to you. You are challenged to keep working hard, but work harder. Your challenge is to keep your head down, your spirits up, and stay faithful to your efforts (academically and athletically). Your challenge is to not look around and concern yourself with opportunities that others receive, because their opportunities have nothing to do with you and your future. Accept the challenge that lies ahead. It’s a significant challenge.
National Letter of Intent week is here and soon it will be gone and it represents something significant. For those with the opportunity to sign, it represents one more step achieved on your journey, not the final destination. For those who have not yet signed or may not eventually sign, it represents that you still have work to do.
For both groups of kids, NLI week signifies that your journey is not finished.
Good luck to you all.