TIDEWATER SUMMER LEAGUE
The Tidewater Summer League, continuing it’s 70 plus year tradition of providing a great summer baseball experience for players and fans alike, is excited about the upcoming summer season. Despite the COVID pandemic forcing us to cancel our development league season and also forcing several of our premier league teams to cancel their seasons as well, we were still able to forge forward and our 2020 Premier Division featured four great teams. With well over 100 years of experience operating successful collegiate summer baseball operations between them, the Edenton Steamers, Tidewater Drillers, Greenbrier Knights and Old Dominion Hitters anchored the Tidewater Summer League and provide the consistency and high quality summer baseball experience collegiate players who are trying to get to the next level are looking for.
The Edenton Steamers, founded in 1997, the Outer Banks Daredevils, founded in 1996, (both former members of the Coastal Plain League), the Tidewater Drillers, founded in 1986, the Greenbrier Knights, founded in 1992, (both long time members of the Tidewater Summer League), and the Old Dominion Hitters, founded in 2005, have joined forces for the upcoming summer season. Our teams have well over 100 years of experience running summer baseball teams, and have seen hundreds of their former players drafted into professional baseball, with dozens of them making it to the Major League level.
The 2020 season will include our regular season schedule of games, plus our annual All-Star game and post season tournament. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related business closures, along with the phased reopening of our industry, the league has pushed back the start of our season. The league will now open play on June 23rd, with the post season and LCS concluding by August 6th. The Tidewater Summer League’s summer season simulates a professional minor league season, while following all NCAA rules and regulations and protecting player’s NCAA eligibility.
Our teams have experienced coaches committed to helping players showcase their talents to professional scouts and other college coaches, while continuing their player’s development both on and off the field. Players will also participate in team community service activities during the season, allowing them the opportunity to give back to their adopted summer communities and enrich both their own lives and the lives of others.
Teams are located within a small geographical area of Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina, greatly reducing travel time for players to and from away games. With our league’s geographical construct, players will spend less time riding on the bus and more time getting in extra work on the field, in the cages, in the pen, more time in the weight room, more time for that online class, a part time job and most importantly, more time for themselves to enjoy some of their summer while still participating in a top collegiate summer league.
The Tidewater Summer League, a NCAA compliant league, has been organized with a team first approach, and a desire to provide its teams a professionally managed league platform designed to ensure the teams are successful. Teams, in the same manner, are designed and operated to provide their players with everything necessary to enjoy a successful summer baseball experience that approximates a minor league season, in such a manner as not to jeopardize our players NCAA eligibility.
In addition, recognizing and understanding our players are collegiate athlete’s, not professional players, our goal is to strike a good balance between the “grind” of minor league ball and a quality summer. Players will enjoy a summer filled with great baseball, a taste of professional life, and still have time to get in additional training, development, an online class and more time to enjoy the summer .
Players will enjoy a great summer experience playing with and against top collegiate players from around the country; experienced coaches committed to their players success, exposure and development; experienced collegiate umpires; great venues with large, enthusiastic crowds of loyal fans; short travel times to away games; and a chance to spend part of their summer in great communities along the Atlantic coast.
TSL COVID-19 REOPENING PROTOCOLS – VIRGINIA
In an effort to exercise all due diligence in providing our players, coaches, interns, umpires, staff and fans the safest possible environment, the league’s executive committee has implemented the following changes to league procedures:
SOCIAL DISTANCING – In addition to requiring all staff and fans to maintain proper social distancing while at the ballpark, for the 2020 season, players will maintain proper social distancing practices on and off the diamond. Rule adjustments concerning players staying in the dugouts have been made to allow for players to spread out down their respective sidelines to be able to maintain proper social distancing.
NO SHARED WATER – There will no longer be team water coolers or shared drinking coolers; each player will be responsible to bring their own personal cooler with an adequate supply of water/gator-aide for their use.
NO SHARED EQUIPMENT – Each player will provide 100% of their own personal safety equipment, such as batting helmets, Evo-Shields, etc. and will not be sharing equipment with other teammates. Each player will be responsible to bring their equipment along with everything they will need for the game with them to and from each game.
HAND SANITIZING STATIONS – will be set up by each dugout to allow the players and coaches to sanitize their hands regularly throughout the game.
DAILY COVID-19 SCREENING – Players, coaches, staff and umpires will be required to undergo daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms. Players, coaches, staff and umpires will us the self screening guidelines provided by the CDC to monitor daily for any recognized symptoms of COVID-19 infection (see below).
• A fever of 100.4°F or higher.
• A new cough that I cannot attribute to another health condition.
• Shortness of breath that I cannot attribute to another health condition.
• Chills that I cannot attribute to another health condition.
• A new sore throat that I cannot attribute to another health condition.
• A change in my senses of smell and/or taste
• A headache that I cannot attribute to another health condition
REPORTING – Players, coaches, staff and umpires are required to immediately report to the league commissioner if they believe they have the symptoms of COVID-19, feel unwell and/or have been in immediate contact with someone who is known to be infected with COVID-19 and are not to attend any team practices or games until cleared to do so by the league’s front office.
WAIVERS – Players, coaches, staff and umpires will be required to sign separate COVID-19 indemnification waivers that will include an agreement that should they become infected with COVID-19 or become exposed to someone with COVID-19, Tidewater Summer League, LLC. may inform other league members or individuals who have been around them that they may be at risk.
QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS – If any player, coach, intern and/or umpire test positive for COVID-19 infection, or are otherwise diagnosed as infected with COVID-19, the player, coach, staff and/or umpire will self-quarantine for at least 14 days, and will not attempt to return to any league activity until they have been fever-free (unmediated by any fever-reducing medication) for 72 hours.
RESTRICTIONS – No players, coach, staff member, umpire or fan is allowed to attend any league practices or games if they have a fever, feel unwell or display the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
LIMITING THE NUMBER OF FANS ATTENDING GAMES – The league will follow CDC and VA DOH guidance regarding the number of people allowed to attend an outdoor event and limit fan attendance accordingly. We will continue to monitor said guidance throughout the season, and make adjustments to increase that number as allowed by the Governor and the phased reopening of our industry. In addition, fans will be required to maintain proper social distancing measures at all times.
LIVE BROADCAST – The league will live stream all games free of charge on our Facebook &/or Twitter pages. Fan’s will also be able to follow all of the action online via our Game Changer feed.
The league will continue to monitor the most up to date guidance provided by the CDC and the VA Dept. of Health and their impact on our industry. We reserve the right to continue to make any changes necessary to better ensure the safety of our players, coaches, interns, umpires, staff and fans. We look forward to a great summer of baseball.
Thank you in advance for your continued support and cooperation as we work together to bring baseball back for the 2020 summer.