By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Following a July 15 meeting, the BVI Softball-Baseball Association has set a September 5 target for its first post Hurricane Irma Men and Women’s fast pitch league. The last event held by the association, was the Raymundo “Mundo” Boynes Inter Virgin Islands Softball Tournament, Sept 1-3, 2017. Three days after the tournament, Hurricane Irma destroyed the territory on Sept 6.
This upcoming league will be preceded by an Aug 1 tournament leading up to the opening, providing all teams and opportunity to face off. Softball Association secretary Bria Smith, told Island Sun Sports that they had a productive meeting.
“The first thing we spoke about was when we’d be hosting the Men’s and Women’s fast pitch league and we decided on Sept 5, to give teams already registered, time to get their uniforms and everything together,” Smith said. “This will also give us time to complete the different works that we have on the field.”
Smith explained that there are piles of dirt in the outfield that was created after they removed the Hurricane Irma damaged wall. They want to have this completed before the start of the league. As a result, they have decided to host a preseason tournament involving all the teams starting on August 1.
“During that time, we’ll have all teams come out and play,” Smith indicated. “They’ll only be five inning games and team players will be in the same colors, not as we have now. Those are purely fun games. We’ll have it more official than we have it now.”
The fun games ended with Los Macarrecios trimming Storm, 9-8 and Power Outage turning back the Pirates, 8-5 on Saturday. Smith said any games played after last weekend, will be organized by the teams themselves.
Rosters of teams registered before COVID-19 in anticipation of a March 21 start, have been reopened from July 20-30, so that teams can drop or add players if they so desire. Specifically with the Lady Hawks, Smith noted that they had players from St. Thomas and they’ll have to make amendments to their roster. There was also a full men’s team registered from St. Thoms, but had to be removed because of COVID-19 and the Territory’s borders being closed.
“We have opened the rosters and we’re also encouraging persons who wanted to bring a team into the league, to do so,” Smith said. “The rosters will be opened from July 20 and closed before the preseason begins.”
Preseason games will be played at the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park, Friday through Sunday. Any rainout games will be played on Wednesday, as they association would do during their regular season.
Women’s teams registered are: Synergy, That’s Ya Problem, Lady Hawks and Warriors. Men’s teams registered are: Power Outage, Storm, Los Macarrecios, Pirates and Hot Shots.
Following Saturday night’s games, Chief Umpire “Glenford “Chappy“ Maduro, told Island Sun Sports there’s more work to be done on the field in terms of fencing to cut down on vandalism as the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park.
“We have the gates on the Long Bush side incomplete. On the Elmore Stoutt High School side the fence needs to be finished so that the field cane be completely secured,” he pointed out. “When we were on lockdown, the new backstop net was down for the wall to go up and someone cut it for some reason or another—we don’t know what they used it for. We also had some lumber here. We had people coming in and stealing them and we had to secure them in the dugout. So we really need the fencing to be completed. Public Works is expected to come in and help level the soil this week, but the fencing is a major problem right now, so we need the field secured.”
As he umpired both games, Maduro said he could see people in the outfield on their cell phones, so there’s a need to have the fencing fixed urgently.