LIHU‘E — Wrong phrasing on county paperwork has paused play for the Kaua‘i Senior Softball League, which was set to restart games today.
According to league President Joe Bertucci, Kaua‘i County did not issue the necessary athletic fields permit for the league to continue their season by their weekly meeting last Wednesday afternoon.
The softball league, currently insured by Bollinger, the largest insurer of sporting events in the nation, was previously covered by State Farm until they refused to add the county as an additional insured entity.
The league hopes the county provides them with a decision on whether or not they can resume play within the next week.
“We have the insurance policy, but (the county) worded the insurer and the additional insurer incorrectly,” Bertucci said. “Hopefully, this will all be resolved Friday afternoon or Monday morning so that the county can act upon our application at their weekly meeting held next Wednesday.”
The league will adhere to the county’s new application process permitting all fields an additional $1 million in insurance, and naming the county as other insured.
According to the league’s website, the Kaua‘i state tournament committee canceled this year’s tournament.
It was rescheduled for Aug. 3 to 5, 2021.
Kaua‘i County Public Information Officer Alden Alayvilla told The Garden Island in a written statement Friday afternoon that the county would “look into it.”
“The county says there was a glitch in the language as the new additional insurance they needed for us to resume play,” Bertucci said. “We are in the works of having that amended for the county, which meets every Wednesday on these matters and hopefully approves next week.”
The Senior softballers have continued to practice on their own account with social distancing, according to Bertucci.
“Most teams have been practicing/exercising for the last four to six weeks on their own, so they are ready to play ball,” Bertucci said.
Since being locked down, the players have suffered emotional despair, Bertucci said.
“The atmosphere was like something was taken away from each of us, something we have been doing over 50 to 60 years, playing the game we love,” Bertucci said. “To step back onto the field, smell the grass and play catch with your friends and teammates, that’s the key.”
In the Senior Softball League’s attempt to restart, the league will follow the federal safety guidelines of the National Senior Softball Summit’s Recommendation for return to play.
The rules’ bolded subheads include the following: No social contact, dugout rules, game recommendations and spectator rules.
Some of the rules include social distancing in the dugouts, no sharing of equipment, a new softball for each game and no chewing or spitting.
The rules for the spectators are that they are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, required for social distancing, as bleachers are unavailable.
“It is our intention to finish out our league schedule as posted on our website when we are permitted to continue,” Bertucci said. “The vast majority of players are itching to get back out there. It’s not so much the playing, winning or losing, but the camaraderie of being with the guys you’ve known most of your life or making new friends.”
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.