Fewer teams and games, but “we’re looking forward to getting together again.”
There will be a 25th Inter-Congregational Men’s Club Summer Softball League season after all.
And with 15 teams, just two fewer than last season.
“We’re looking forward to getting together again,” said Steve Achtman, one of the league’s organizers.
“I didn’t know if we were going to have a season this summer and, if we did, would it have to be like our fall season with teams mixed and matched from the summer teams,” Achtman said.
The re-opening this month of West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department diamonds during the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door for a summer league season.
League games will be played starting Sunday, June 21, and continuing each Sunday through Aug. 30 on two diamonds at Drake Sports Park and three diamonds at Keith Sports Park.
Nine weeks of regular-season games, with teams perhaps playing a doubleheader each week, will be followed by two weeks of playoffs. Rained out regular-season games will not be made up.
The league season was supposed to begin May 3, with no games played during the Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and July 4 weekends, and end Aug. 23. Games now will be played July 5.
The “new normal” caused by the pandemic will make this a league season like no other.
There will be social distancing measures, a limited number of spectators, wearing a mask will be optional for players and umpires, and hand sanitizer will be available.
The umpire and catcher will position themselves farther away from the batter than they normally do, the usual post-game high fives between teams will be done with no physical contact, and there will be a pre-game moment of silence to pray for the victims of the pandemic and for peace and racial harmony in a turbulent world.
There will be free substitution during games. If a team is short on players, it can borrow players from the opposing team to fill spots in the field.
“We don’t want to have any forfeits,” Achtman said.
Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Congregation B’nai Moshe and Temple Kol Ami/Congregation B’nai Israel will not field teams this season, but Temple Shir Shalom has added a third team.
The 15 remaining teams are in three five-team divisions.
The Greenberg Division is made up of five teams from Temple Israel: No. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.
In the Koufax Division are Temple Israel No. 4, Temple Shir Shalom No. 1 and No. 2, Temple Beth El and Congregation Shir Tikvah.
Temple Shir Shalom No. 3, Adat Shalom Synagogue No. 1 and No. 2, Congregation Beth Ahm and Bais Chabad Torah Center are in the Rosen Division.