Play ball!

Barring any changes in state and local directives concerning COVID-19, youth baseball players in Ralston will be on baseball diamonds come the start of June.

The Ralston Area Baseball Association is proceeding with its recreation and competitive seasons, allowing players ages 4 to 18 a chance to participate in America’s pastime.

“We believe we need to have a baseball season,” said RABA President Aaron Savine.

The same is not true for the Ralston Girls Softball Association.

In a statement on its website, RGSA stated “it has made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 softball season. This was not a decision that was made lightly.”

Continuing in its statement, the association said, “the safety of our girls and RGSA families is what has remained our first priority. We know there will be many disappointed girls and family members and we share that disappointment with you. There is nothing more we would like than to see your faces on the fields.”

Baseball players — both recreational and select — can hit the practice fields on June 1 with games starting June 18.

RABA sponsors recreational leagues from 4-year-olds in T-ball to an 18-under team that totals approximately 190 players. There are four teams on the competitive side — 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-under that account for about another 50 players.

The schedule calls for practices to begin June 1 and games to start June 18. Rec leagues will run through July and competitive teams a bit longer.

The organization weeks ago established a task force to determine if the seasons should be played, and if so, what guidelines needed to be established.

With the Gov. Pete Ricketts’ blessing to allow youth baseball and softball across the state, RABA directors decided to forge ahead.

An email was sent to parents who’d registered their players, and Savine said only a handful of families, about 12, asked for registration fee refunds. Savine said RABA is still accepting registrations at ralstonbaseball.net.

Savine said coaches, players and parents will adhere to health directives, and each team will have a parent designated to keep tabs to ensure those rules are followed.

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