One of the longest running and most highly-esteemed summer club softball tournaments in the nation is the Boulder Independence Day Tournament (IDT) which dates back to 1997.
The event run by Tournament Director Dan Burns has seen many of the top young fastpitch players and teams in the nation come to Colorado over the last two-plus decades to compete against the best talent from coast to coast.
This year, the Boulder IDT is scheduled to take place from Wednesday, July 1 through Sunday, July 5 in four separate Colorado locations: Boulder, with 80 teams at 18U; Louisville, 32 teams at the 16U/18U levels; Longmont, hosting 56 teams at 16U and Broomfield, where 48 teams compete at 14U.
Recently, Burns had posted on the Boulder IDT site that he and event organizers are “optimistic we will be able to complete the tournament as scheduled despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He followed up with an e-mail to participating club coaches on Wednesday (May 20) updating the status of the prestigious tournament which, in its long history of 23 years, has only been cancelled once: in 2009 due to bad weather.
Burns began the correspondence stating: “While it seems like I have talked directly with most of you during the past couple of weeks I want to bring everyone up to date on the status of the 2020 IDT. COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in one way or another and I hope that all of you, your teams and families are safe. I know we are all anxious for things to return to nearly normal and to be able to get back on the field in a safe environment as soon as possible.”
Excerpted from the digital transmission, here are four key points he covered for those looking to compete in Colorado this summer (bold text is kept from the e-mail as sent)…
Regarding the status of the IDT, he wrote: “At this time, I have no guarantee that we have access to any of the fields we normally use in Boulder, Louisville, Longmont or Broomfield. We are currently in the second phase of the recovery plan, “Safer at Home” in CO and all youth sports are unable to participate in practices or competitions. Our Governor is scheduled to review the progress of phase two and speak to opening new areas in phase three on Tuesday, May 26th.”
“We are hopeful that youth sports will be included in this phase as many youth sports organizations have talked to him. I have spoken to the Parks and Rec people in all of the cities involved and they are hopeful that the tournament can be played as scheduled, but powerless to make it happen.”
“My plan to alleviate their concerns regarding COVID-19 restrictions seems to have generally satisfied them and should only need minor adjustments if we can gain access to the fields. We have agreed to talk after the Governors remarks and make a decision regarding the tournament immediately.”
“A “play” or “No Play” decision will be made by Monday, June 1st at the latest and I will notify you directly as soon as a decision has been made.”
PARTICIPATING TEAMS & CANCELLATIONS
As for cancellations, the tournament director said that about 50 of the original 216 teams have “notified me that for one reason or another they will not be able to participate in the 2020 tournament. I have a number of teams interested in filling open spots but we have agreed to talk once we know we will be playing.”
Burns emphasized that if the event would be cancelled this year, teams could get a full refund or roll the entry fee into 2021.
“As most of you know,” he continued, “ it has always been my policy to refund 100% when refunds are needed. If the tournament eventually must be cancelled your team will have the option of having the entire (amount) returned immediately or if you will be coaching for the same team in the same age classification next year rolling your entry fee over for the 2021 tournament.”
ALL-STAR GAMES/DINNER CANCELLED
There has already been one casualty of the Coronavirus pandemic this year, even if the IDT does take place, according to Burns.
"The All Star Games and Free Dinner we normally host in Boulder and Broomfield on the Tuesday night preceding the start of pool play have been cancelled as there is no way we can safely accommodate 1000+ people at the Stazio 1-4 complex," he wrote.