National Legion Memo Causes a Stir, Wyoming Legion Baseball is On
A document issued late Friday by the American Legion National Organization led to some panic last weekend regarding the cancellation of Legion baseball this summer.
Don’t worry baseball players, coaches, and fans, there will still be a season in Wyoming
Essentially, the National Organization’s memo was put together to officially sever ties between the national level and any state that has decided to play in 2020.
Wyoming State Chairman Cody Beers told WyoPreps that Wyoming is moving forward towards a season.
“Not much has changed. Our teams are still practicing. We are just completely separated from our National Organization this season. We are ‘Wyoming American Legion Baseball’ for this year.”
Some interpreted the communication from the national level to mean that all legion baseball activities were canceled across the country and that if teams wanted to play a season, it would have to be non-sanctioned. That statement is true to a degree, but Wyoming can still hold a season. It will do so under the banner of "Wyoming American Legion Baseball" and not tied to the National Organization. It must be approved and based at the state level.
Beers said it has been approved and is backed the Wyoming Department of the American Legion.
“Our State Commander and State Adjutant stepped up and are allowing us to play this summer,” said Beers. “They are behind it 100 percent. We’re looking forward to it.”
One key item that must be worked out for all teams is insurance coverage. The National Organization shut down its online registration portal and stopped referring teams to the K&K Insurance portal for the 2020 season. The National Organization will be issuing full refunds to each program for national fees and any insurance that was already purchased. That refund is going out to around 1,000 teams across the country.
Then, teams had to go back to K&K Insurance and get their own policy after their season was officially backed by the state, which Wyoming is.
Beers added, “We have to be much more flexible this year. We hope we get some word, possibly as soon as tomorrow, about group sizes increasing, which could lead to full-team practices. If the gathering size goes up high enough, it could lead to playing games without spectators.”
He’s hoping to be able to play by Memorial Day weekend.
Beers said there are around 15 states still involved with legion baseball for 2020, as of Monday. According to reports, 27 states have officially canceled American Legion Baseball for 2020.
Wyoming has been hoping to have a season throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and most teams began practicing last week under the new guidelines that include a nine-person limit on the field which were established on May 2.
There are two programs in Wyoming, Green River and Laramie, that may not be part of the season. Sources say Green River has opted out, while Laramie will decide by Wednesday night.
Beers also said the state has generated a waiver that every player and parent is required to sign if a player wishes to participate in the 2020 season.
Note: American Legion Baseball teams would like to thank Pine Bluffs Distillery that donated three liters of sanitizer to every team in the state.