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Slow-pitch softball

Next up: Men's league prepares to step to plate

Fewer teams, shorter season, games start second week of July
By Staff | Jun 23, 2020

Rockland — Men's slow-pitch softball will step into the batter's box in the coming weeks — albeit with fewer teams then in recent years.

Andrew Rogers, the "commissioner" of the Rockland Ford Men's Softball League, which historically plays games at the Elks Lodge on upper Rankin Street in Rockland and Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren, said games will return the second week of July.

As with leagues trying to operate safely during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the men's group will take sanitary precautions and look to social distance as much as possible to keep players and fans healthy.

Rogers said the league will begin games the second week of July and wrap the playoffs the first week of August, so it will be an especially short season for the longstanding Rockland-based adult recreational activity.

"We lost a few teams this year, so it made sense to shorten the season up given the late start," Rogers said.

When the league starts, Mid-Knight Auto will swing for its fourth straight championship as the other squads battle to unseat the defending titlist.

Rogers said he will work closely with Mid-Coast Co-ed Softball League president Chris Hart, who also has played in the men's league in the past, to schedule men's games so they do not conflict as often with the coed schedule.

There are a bundle of area residents who play in both leagues. Historically, players in the leagues were separated, but more now participate in both, thanks to a relatively new coed league rule change that allows it.

The coed playoffs will start the week after the men's league finishes its shortened campaign.

The pandemic has changed how most routine things are approached and it will not be business as usual for the leagues, given social-distance recommendations/requirements, use of mouth/nose masks, the constant sanitation of equipment and limitations on the number of people for gatherings.

Traditionally, in normal years, the area slow-pitch adult softball leagues start in June and finish by late-August.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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