Kaua‘i Senior Softball returns for a COVID-19-shortened schedule

  • J Robertson / Special to The Garden Island file

    The 2019 Kaua‘i Senior Softball League champion Keonimana Gents celebrate after capturing the title.

LIHU‘E — The Kaua’i Senior Softball League received approval by Kaua’i County to continue their abbreviated season Wednesday afternoon.

League President Joe Bertucci wrote in an e-mail statement that the league would play its last five first-round scheduled games Saturday morning in Kapaʻa, and Lihu‘e.

With a recent surge in COVID-19 numbers in the county and on the mainland, according to recent World Health Organization numbers, that means the league won’t be permitted to play softball after the end of July.

Because the senior population has statistically represented the age demographic most affected by COVID-19, the league emphasizes safety precautions, Bertucci said.

According to Bertucci, the Senior Softball League serves an essential function for the mental health of the players involved.

“We aren’t fifteen or even thirty-five years old anymore,” Bertucci said. “We may think we are, but we move as oldsters. It is tough to admit this. I should know as I’m one, but this is one of the things we have to look forward to in our ending years.”

The league is insured by Bollinger, the largest insurer of sporting events in the nation. State Farm previously covered it until they refused to add the county as an additional insured entity.

The league will follow the federal safety guidelines of the National Senior Softball Summit’s Recommendations for the return to play.

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 include being encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and required to social distance because bleachers are unavailable.

“We just want to get out of the house, see our lifelong friends in most cases, talk about stories, have a few beers and play music,” Bertucci said. “That is what it is all about being a senior softball player.”

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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