Travel ball could be pushed back

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Some Fall high school sports seasons have been put on hold, and that ripple effect is already complicating plans for the future.

Travel baseball and softball usually start their seasons in early June, but plans to prolong high school baseball and softball seasons through late June complicates their schedule.

“With that season being pushed back, travel ball will also be pushed back,” says Champaign Dream Team President Mike Namoff.

In a normal year, kids have two to three weeks off between school ball and travel ball, but with the overlap that break could be much shorter. One player does not think that will have much affect on him.

“With all the high school sports, since I played football, basketball, and baseball, I was used to about one week in-between each,” says player Ty Pence. “I’ll be used to it.”

For kids who came up through the travel ball system the quick turn around may seem familiar. Junoir high athletes would play travel all the way up to their middle school season in the Fall. Another high school aged player thinks the quick transition is not going to stop anyone from signing up.

“Kids our age are used to playing sports year-round anyway,” says player Adam Price. “The transition from school ball to is a pretty smooth one. I feel like it won’t affect us that much.”

Travel teams had their season shorten by the pandemic this year and if next year’s high school season goes as planned, they will have to deal with another shortened year. For coaches, this season may end up being practice in how to schedule as many games as they can.

“Several organizations are playing in August right now because they didn’t get to play in June,” says Namoff. “I have a feeling it’s going to be similar to what they’re doing right now actually. They’re making adjustments to get games in.”

Teams can usually play anywhere from 40 to 50 games a year. That could be possible next year, but coaches say it is more realistic that they may end up playing a dozen or so less than that.

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