As outdoor sports resume, Oahu youth baseball league struggles to plan for full season

As outdoor sports resume, Oahu youth baseball league caught in a pickle

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Oahu Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth League typically plays its games at Waipio’s Central Oahu Regional Park.

Reserving the fields is done well in advance, but now they are booked on a month-to month basis.

So as outdoor youth sports leagues on Oahu resume operations this week, the league is caught in a jam with not enough time to set up a full schedule of games.

“Based on that, we couldn’t call a meeting not knowing how many teams we could bring in, not knowing how many fields we were gonna have next month, so that created a problem,” said Oahu Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth League official Jim Koishigawa.

In addition, city parks have seen a wider demand for field permit requests.

As a result, Koishigawa was unsure about how many games can be booked past June and the league is losing thousands of dollars not being able field its usual number of teams.

“We’re trying to juggle a bit because some teams are more ready to start than others, but we’ve had our field user meetings,” said Laura Thielen, director of the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

“I want to thank the DPR staff because they’ve been working really hard with all the leagues to be able to get started on very short notice, but we’re trying to go ahead and permit on through the summer where we can and then everybody can be prepared to move forward with the fall season.”

This isn’t the first time the Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth league was left looking for venues.

Recently, their former site ― Kapolei’s Pride Field ― was made unavailable so they’re prepared to be nimble. “If there’s any open fields, we’ll use them,” Koishigawa said.

Although games and practices are permitted, the city maintains spectators are not allowed.

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