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From the Dugout: Keep Calm and Carry On
July 1, 2020
By Terry Hennessy
As the pandemic flares in different parts of America, many of us long for those good old days when we knew, mostly, what to expect.
As players, our goals were often centered on very predictable things like finding the best bat, or breaking in a back-up glove, or working our way out of the mid-season slump.
Now we are in one of those times that will likely become a milestone of history. And not a good one.
The current pandemic affects every part of life – including softball. Even getting a chance to play is rare – and deciding to play may be a gut-wrenching for some.
And perhaps hardest of all is that we have little control over what is happening in our lives.
That’s true of players, teams – and softball organizations.
For Senior Softball USA – like other organizations – it is not for lack of trying.
Take the Northeast Championships in Syracuse, N.Y., for example. Until about three weeks before the tournament we were all set to go. The field owners confirmed the new pandemic rules for play, city officials were excited and, best yet, New York state COVID cases had been declining.
Then, within a few days, that changed. COVID cases began climbing in states outside of New York and the governor instituted rules restricting any gathering to people from the same area.
For the next week, city officials begged the state to allow the tournament; approaching several agencies and the governor’s office.
In the end, the answer was no and we had to cancel the tournament.
The problem really is that the situation is extremely fluid and can change in a state, or county or city in a matter of days – as it did in Syracuse.
While we cannot guarantee tournaments will go on as planned during the pandemic; know that SSUSA is dedicated to re-opening the sport where it is possible and safe to do so. You can count on it.
Perhaps the best advice comes from a British poster printed at the beginning of World War II: Keep calm and carry on.
Terry Hennessy is chief executive officer of Senior Softball USA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.