As the world gradually starts to come out of the lockdown, the British Baseball Federation is assessing options to start the 2020 baseball season if and when the government gives clearance for league games to restart. Further easing of restrictions is likely to be considered in July and the BBF is currently looking at game scheduling scenarios.
As part of that process, they have asked teams from the four leagues to confirm if the impact from Covid-19 has affected their ability to participate. We understand that several teams including Bournemouth Bears and Oxford Kings have already withdrawn themselves from the league.
Over the last few weeks Herts Baseball Club has been asking its members if they have been affected in a way which would prevent them from playing league games this year. Players have been trying to delay that decision for as long as possible but some have reported that they will not be able to play until health and economic risks reduce further. This has affected the club’s NBL, Triple-A and Double-A rosters in particular.
Yesterday, the Herts executive board had to make the difficult decision of withdrawing one of its five teams from the 2020 league season. That team was the club’s Triple-A League team. Players who were previously on the Triple-A roster are most likely to be assigned to the club’s NBL and Double-A teams. The rebalancing of the rosters has also prompted the club to move its Double-A team from Basing Hill Ballpark to Grovehill Ballpark.
The Herts Eagles remain in the Single-A League but for the remainder of the 2020 season they will adopt the Herts Londoners’ name as the club’s primary team in north west London. Most of the players who were previously on the Double-A roster will most likely be assigned to either the Herts Londoners Single-A roster or the Herts Hawks Double-A roster if they have indicated that they can travel to Hemel Hempstead for home games. The precise changes to the Herts rosters will be announced in due course, depending on whether and when the BBF league season will go ahead.
The adjusted league entries of the four remaining Herts teams are as follows:
|Herts Falcons||National Baseball League||Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead|
|Herts Hawks||Double-A League||Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead|
|Herts Raptors||Single-A League||Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead|
|Herts Londoners||Single-A League||Basing Hill Ballpark, London|
The club will continue to monitor the status of its players and teams in the event that any further adjustments become necessary.
Herts Falcons manager, Cris Hiche, emphasised that ‘the measures that are being taken are temporary and that everyone at the club looks forward to having all players and teams back to full capacity next season when we hope the pandemic will be behind us’. He added that ‘this year the priority is to stay active, healthy, and enjoy some sense of normality which baseball can bring at a difficult time for everyone’.
Herts players resumed training two weeks ago working in groups of up to six people, in accordance with government guidelines. The club continues to receive enquiries from new players interested to try baseball. They are able to book a place for one of these sessions to help them decide if they would like to join Herts. They can book their place for the next session by contacting the club,