BOISE, Idaho — For many families, springtime means nights and weekends spent at the ballpark as baseball and softball season is in full swing.
But, last year, that couldn't happen.
“Last year, it was just such a devastating blow to make that call to make the decision that we were going to cancel the season," said Tim Jewell, South Boise Little League President. "It was really heartbreaking to see the kids getting ready to play and then saying nope, we aren't having a season.”
It was a decision that had to be made, but also one that affected more than just the players' development of the game.
“We can see it as parents. It has definitely impacted them not being able to have that interaction like they normally would have, and yes, there is a mental health aspect of that, and all parents are seeing that on different levels," said Mike Turner, the father of two SBLL softball players.
Turner's family is looking ahead to the possibility of having a season this year.
“I’ve never seen them more ready to do something," said Turner. "They have always loved to play softball, but this year, even more so just because they are so anxious to get out of the house and go do something and be with their friends and have the opportunity to play again."
The SBLL is currently submitting an operational plan to get approved by the City of Boise that will include things like wearing face masks in huddles and no high fives.
“To make sure that we are following these rules with masks, we are going to be spacing out our fields, and one of the big rules this year is going to be no spectators, so working around those types of major things that will impact our season,” said Jewell.
One thing they know for sure is this season, if approved, will look different.
"We are asking all parents, families, coaches, and players for their understanding and cooperation and to realize that we are following these rules so that our kids can have this chance to be out there," said Jewell.
Their main goal is to keep everyone safe and to let the kids play again so they'll do what needs to be done to make that happen--something Turner and his two softball-loving daughters are hoping for because it's the little things they miss about the game.
“The excitement around just playing and the girls coming together it’s just fun to watch," said Turner. "Our girls took pride in being the loudest cheering team you know and so they would make up their own cheers, and they would have all kinds of fun with it."
Registration for the league closes on Feb. 15 and practices will start in early March.
For more information visit their website at southboisell.com