Last night, the Dutch government announced new measures to contain the coronavirus. Two measures caught the eye and may influence Dutch baseball.
The first measure is that festivals and events will be banned until September 1. For Dutch soccer, this also means that the current season will be canceled. Nothing was said about it because baseball is a marginal sport in the Netherlands, but it is not quite clear if baseball will be affected by these measures as well. For sure it will be almost impossible to play baseball when you have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. The number of fans will not be the problem as Dutch hoofdklasse games are attended by an average of about 80 fans. There should be plenty of room to keep the required distance of 1.5 meters (4 feet and 11 inches).
Another measure that was announced is that children will be allowed to pick up training sessions again with any kind of sport. But then again, the 1.5-meter distance is required. This means that children can pick up their gloves, bats and balls and start practicing again. A positive development. But this measure is only for children. Adults are not allowed to start training sessions again unless you are a top athlete.
The latter would mean that players of the Dutch hoofdklasse can start their training sessions as well also respecting the 1.5-meter distance. Also a positive development. But then again, if baseball season is regarded as an event, what is the use of picking up your baseball mitt again?
In the past few weeks, the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation) promoted to exercise at home asking players to post videos of their training sessions on social media.
After the press conference of the Dutch government last night, the KNBSB did not send a press release yet. We’ll have to wait for that before we can draw conclusions.