While their formal starting plans have yet to be completely finalized amid several pending coronavirus pandemic restrictions changes, the Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League and the Prince-Mont Swim League have tentative plans in place to start the 2020 season.
Both leagues conducted meetings on Tuesday evening to discuss the potential, belated start to their respective seasons. The Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League, known simply as CHASM among players and coaches for the organization that began in 1947, could start on June 20, while the Prince-Mont season would begin on July 11.
While the Prince-Mont season will be condensed from seven weeks to four and will not offer its annual All-Stars meet finale, the CHASM season could still consist of 16 games for each of the six teams. Five of the six teams would qualify for the playoffs, beginning with a play-in game and ending with the normal double-elimination format.
“Right now we’re just waiting on the Governor [Larry Hogan] to move us to the next phase and increase the gatherings,” said Western Charles head coach and CHASM secretary Tony Stefko. “If we get word this week that the number is increased to 50, then we will start the season on June 20 and play doubleheaders eight of the next 10 weekends.”
Last year, the CHASM season began on April 28 and ran through August, with the playoffs following after Labor Day weekend. Ideally this summer, amid the condensed schedule, the season would run June 20 through Sept. 13, skipping the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends. Stefko contended the playoffs could run into October this season.
CHASM will include six teams this year: Western Charles, Indian Head, La Plata, Pomfret (formerly the Hyper Bombers) and two St. Mary’s Legion Post 255 teams, one for older players and the other comprised of the St. Mary’s Legion 19-and-Under squad whose Legion season was canceled. With several of its players heading to colleges this fall, the St. Mary’s Legion 19-U team would likely not participate in the playoffs.
While the modified CHASM season will offer the normal baseball scenarios of two full teams facing one another each weekend in doubleheaders, the Prince-Mont dual meets will have an entirely different look.
This summer, the expected 18 to 20 teams in the league will contest virtual meets, with teams staying at their respective home pools and then submitting the results to the league manager who will merge them to determine the outcomes.
“Right now it looks like we will have 18 to 20 teams competing,” said Prince-Mont president John Venit. “But we’re still waiting on pools in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County to open. My pool [West Arundel] opened last week and so did some pools in Charles County [Hawthorne Country Club and Bannister], but we’re just waiting to hear when P.G. and Montgomery County pools can open.”
The Prince-Mont season offered five weeks of dual meets last summer that began on June 15 and ended with the All-Stars meet on July 27. This summer, the season will consist of three dual meets, July 11 to 25, then ending with divisional meets on Aug. 1.
“We’ll still have plenty of social distancing guidelines to follow,” Venit said. “So, there be only one timer per lane. Then after the kids are done their events, they’re expected to go back to their parents. I expect all the teams to put in their accurate times for each swimmer. We just wanted to make sure the kids had the chance to get back into the pools and compete this summer.”
Venit noted that several teams have already declined to participate, including the Kingfish Swim Team, Severn Crossing and Kings Landing. Venit also expects the number of swimmers participating this summer to drop amid COVID-19 social distancing concerns.
“With these virtual meets, none of the teams will be traveling,” Venit said. “Everyone will stay at their home pool each week and send in their results. It’s going to be a different season, but at least the kids will have the chance to swim.”