July 9, 2020

WMLL Practice Step 3 = Expanded Team Scrimmages

We appreciate your patience over the past four months as WMLL’s Board of Directors has worked to keep abreast of evolving restrictions & recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we have planned and taken actions to provide safe and responsible baseball/softball opportunities for our players by expanding activities in an incremental, stepwise fashion.

Throughout this challenging time the WMLL Board has been focused on three very important things:

  1. Protecting the health and safety of our players, families and volunteers & acting responsibly within the local community
  2. Staying true to WMLL’s mission to provide affordable, top-quality, player-centered baseball & softball programs in a safe, supportive environment.
  3. Being responsible caretakers of the amazing West Madison Little League organization, a community-based, volunteer-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit that has served countless families on Madison’s west side since 1959.

For almost four weeks now, WMLL teams have been conducting safe and successful practices. These practices have complied with the Forward Dane Plan, related Orders & WMLL’s own mandatory safety requirements.

Step 1 = Initial Practices: On June 13, WMLL teams were allowed to begin initial practices for up to 8 players with additional safety measures in place, including 10’ social distancing, coaches in masks, & other mandatory safety requirements.  The start of initial practices was triggered by Dane County moving into Phase 1 of the Forward Dane plan on May 26.

Step 2 = Full-Team Practices: On June 20, WMLL practices were expanded to allow the full team to participate with 6’ social distancing, coaches in masks if they are within 10 feet of any player, & other mandatory safety requirements in place.  The start of full team practices was triggered by Dane County moving into Phase 2 of the Forward Dane plan on June 15.
WMLL is now ready to try another step forward with our practices – expanded team scrimmages.

Step 3 = Expanded Team Scrimmages: Beginning on July 15, WMLL will conduct a one-week trial of expanded team scrimmages. New expanded teams will be created by combining two current WMLL teams (current teams will now be called squads).  Each new expanded team is strongly encouraged to participate in one squad vs. squad scrimmage during the trial period.

  • WMLL has created mandatory safety requirements for scrimmages that include a modified field, modified rules, & additional parent volunteers to assist coaches / umpires in supervising play & monitoring players to ensure that physical distancing is maintained both on & off the field.
  • Unfortunately, to comply with Dane County’s outside mass gathering limit of 25 people (including players & spectators, but excluding coaches, adult umpires, official volunteers & league officials), there will be limited opportunities for non-volunteer parents to attend the scrimmage.
  • During the week of the trial, squads may still practice as individual units to take advantage of the instructional benefits created by a smaller group.
  • After all teams have had the opportunity to participate in a squad vs. squad scrimmage, WMLL will solicit feedback from coaches & parents to determine if expanded team scrimmages are beneficial & desirable.

Note: WMLL’s move to Expanded Team Scrimmages was triggered by Dane County Order #7 which became effective on July 2.  The order limited gatherings and prohibited indoor dining and service at bars, but increased the number of players under age 12 that can participate on a team in a practice, scrimmage or game from a maximum of 15 to a maximum of 25.


League officials will send out the rules & requirements for scrimmages on Friday, July 10 & will conduct a virtual meeting with WMLL coaches to discuss expanded team scrimmages on Saturday, July 11 at 8:30 AM, followed by a virtual town hall meeting for WMLL families and volunteers at 10 AM.
Details on how to participate in these virtual discussions will be sent out with the rules & requirements.