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CRBL cancels league games for the summer

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 8:46 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chippewa River Baseball League announces for the first time since 1945, league play will not go on.

This news comes after one player tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning.

The CRBL hasn’t missed a season since World War 2. Now, league leadership had to make the gut wrenching decision to call off their already shortened season.

“We are in such strange and unpredictable times, but we tried. We hung on here until early July. We made three or four attempts to re-do our schedule,” said Andy Niese, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian for the CRBL.

And now, for the first time in 75 years, league play will not go on.

Niese continued to say,

“I have a lot of mixed emotions about it but I feel like we made the necessary decision, what I’m hearing is that a vast majority of people feel like we made the best decision. With the news that came out over the weekend that there was a positive test and possibly additional exposures. It just wasn’t feasible for us to continue over the next five weeks and try to continue our eight game season.”

However, games can still be played. Only now they will be exhibitions.

With the CRBL not sanctioning league games, Niese says, “This gives teams much more flexibility in cancelling games and deciding not to play. If it feels that it is unsafe for their players, their fans.”

Therefore, no more logistics in rescheduling games. If you have to cancel a game, that’s it you don’t replay it. It is now on the manager’s and the player’s shoulders whether they want to continue to play or not

"Everyone is expected to follow county guidelines, as well as guidelines of the facilities they are playing at. Ultimately this falls on the participants and players," Niese said.

Two of three scheduled CRBL games were played today, and more are scheduled for July 12th.

Niese told WEAU, “Just because we’re playing non-league games doesn’t mean this thing is going away.”

Although many already had their hopes up for things to go on this year, the CRBL is optimistic the 2021 season will continue as normal by the time next summer comes around.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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