Our dual mission is to provide a fun, instructional and safe league for girls to learn and enjoy the awesome sport of softball, and to serve as a feeder program that will help create and maintain a consistently strong high school softball program.

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Welcome to Lynnfield Youth Softball

The Lynnfield Youth Softball Association's dual mission is to provide a fun, instructional and safe outlet for girls to learn and enjoy the awesome sport of softball, and to provide a healthy feeder program that will help create and maintain a consistently strong high school softball program.

Holding Out Hope for a Softball Season

Softball Update

As an organization, we remain committed to doing everything possible to try to have some kind of softball season in 2020, as long as it can be done safely for all our players, coaches, umpires and parents. The following information provides some insight into where we stand as of today, May 21.

Town/State Rolls Out Plan

Following Governor Baker's announcement on May 18, the Town of Lynnfield sent the following note: "Starting on Monday, May 25, all fields in town are open for limited activity, tennis courts will be open, basketball courts and playgrounds will remain closed."

As we understand it, Phase 2 of the governor's plan would allow for softball practices and Phase 3 would allow for games with social distancing measures in place. Since there is a minimum of three weeks between phases, this means the earliest that we could practice would be June 15 and the earliest we could play games is July 6 (which is the observed Independence Day holiday). If we are allowed to start playing games July 6, we could conceivably have a five- or six-week season.

One concrete measure in Phase 2 that we know about is that there can be only 25 participants per playing surface, including coaches. Masks and distancing measures may be recommended or required as well, but this is still in development.

Phase 3 is also uncertain, but some leagues have taken measures such as requiring a mask on umpires or placing them behind the pitcher's mound instead of behind the catcher. There are likely to be limits on how many players/coaches can be in the dugout (if any), how many parents will be allowed in the vicinity (some leagues are having them stay in their cars), requiring all players to use their own equipment (no shared equipment), and limiting how often balls are replaced and touched by the other team. We will know more when the time approaches.

We may be able to begin our Skills, Drills and Games season (K-1) in Phase 2, but this is also uncertain at this time.

Which League to Play

Normally, our teams play spring ball in the Essex County Women's Softball League (ECWSL) and summer ball in the MiddleEssex League. Because the spring season was canceled, the ECWSL is continuing to attempt to have some kind of season, so the leagues may be playing concurrently in 2020. Here is some information about each league.

ECWSL is a group of 16 Essex County cities and towns from Amesbury (farthest north) to Lynnfield (farthest south). The league is instructional/recreational and is designed to accommodate players of every level. In a normal season, we play 12 games plus a week of playoffs, with half the games home and half away. The teams are divided into north and south divisions to limit travel distances. There are three divisions, Senior (7th-8th grades), Junior (4th-6th) and Farm (2nd-4th). The season begins the last week of April and ends with North-South Championship games on Father's Day.

MiddleEssex is a more competitive summer league that typically includes more than 200 teams across age groups (rather than school year) from U10 to U18. Many towns create all-star teams for the summer league, and it even includes some traveling club teams. Geographically, teams come from as far away as Newton and Wellesley to the south and Fitchburg to the west. There are A and B divisions, but these are self-selected, so not always accurate. It is a 7-week, 14-game season with no playoffs. The founder and long-time director of the MiddleEssex League, Jeff Strong of North Reading, retired at the end of last season. USA Softball has picked up the mantle and appears to be continuing the program essentially as it was.

Because we want to offer the opportunity to play softball to every girl who wants to play, the Lynnfield Youth Softball Association has decided to continue trying to field teams for the ECWSL. There will also likely be MiddleEssex teams from Lynnfield at various levels, but this is not our focus as a league right now. Individual coaches are submitting their own teams.

As we have said before and will continue to stress, as much as we want to play softball in 2020, we will only do so if we believe we are not putting anyone at serious risk. If you have any questions or comments, please write to us at lynnfieldyouthsoftball@gmail.com and keep an eye on this site and our Facebook page.

 


by posted 05/21/2020
Lynnfield Bears Bear Watching

Lynnfield Bears 2019 Fall Squad

Bears Impress in Three Seasons

Even as the weather turns colder, there was no hibernating for Lynnfield Youth Softball Association coach and board member John Dias and his Lynnfield Bears. After a stellar run in the Essex County Women's Softball League (ECWSL) Junior South Division last spring -- culminating in a second-place finish and heartbreaking semifinal playoff loss -- Dias and the Bears kept coming back to the field. The coach and many of the players from the spring team participated on Lynnfield's summer U12 team, the Lynnfield Lightning, which finished with an impressive 8-2-2 record in the very competitive Middle Essex League.

Dias and his core group then moved on to the Billerica Fall League, where they were initially placed in the U14 division despite being a U12 team. The team held its own in the upper age group, and when they were relocated to the correct division, enjoyed tremendous success. The Bears finished fifth in a 15-team division and improved with every game. This is believed to be Lynnfield's first foray into the fall league in Billerica.

Finally, Dias and an expanded group of Middle Schoolers wrapped up the year with Saturday afternoon sessions at the New England Premier Sportsplex, working on drills for part of the time and playing a game for the rest. Coach Dias and his players will be back in the coming spring season as well as for the winter clinics that begin at the end of January. And though not all of the Bears will be Bears this coming season -- teams are reset every year and some will be playing in a different age group -- it was a great 2019 for the players, the coach and the program as a whole.  

 


by posted 01/16/2020
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