American Legion baseball in North Dakota was on until Wednesday.
Then it was off for the summer, canceled as a precaution to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now the status of the season is on hold.
After a teleconference meeting Friday night, the state Legion has decided to put any decisions on the 2020 season on hold. The state's Department Executive Committee (DEC) will revisit the situation at its next meeting on April 20 to see if the pandemic situation at that time has changed for the better.
“When the executive committee made its decision (to cancel the season), it was done without any consultation with our athletic committee chairman (Russ Krochus),’’ said Grand Forks Post 6 commander Bob Greene, who is the Class A commissioner on the state Legion athletic committee.
“Once word of (the cancellation) got out, Russ asked why it happened and if it could be re-addressed.
“This season could be over. We could be back to having a partial or full season. We’re cautiously optimistic.’’
The state’s department executive committee met Wednesday and decided to cancel the season. That decision was out on social media Thursday night and drew a strong reaction. On Friday night, Greene said, Kroshus and the DEC met and decided to delay any decisions on the 2020 Legion season.
“The feeling of our athletic committee, of the baseball programs across the state and the coaches was that the DEC made the decision way too early,’’ Greene said.
“We will press on with planning for a program this summer.’’
Grand Forks Royals Legion coach Nick Chine said he thinks the decision to delay canceling the Legion season, which doesn’t start until early June, was the correct one.
“It’s the right decision, a wait-and-see approach,’’ Chine said. “We can still cancel the season. But there are so many moving parts right now. There was no reason to rush into a decision now.’’
The decision to revisit the status of the season is a reprieve for players.
Royals player Zach Carolin said he was shocked when he heard the initial news Thursday that the season was canceled.
"If there's still a chance, knowing that it's not canceled now, that's good,'' Carolin. "We want a chance to get to play together one more time. It's nice to know there's still a chance.
"I can't remember a summer not playing baseball. It would be different without a season. I'd miss it, for sure.''
Carolin said part of the disappointment of possibly not having Legion ball this summer is that the Royals players have high expectations for the team.
Grand Forks was runner-up in the Class AA state tournament last summer, losing 7-2 in the championship to Fargo Post 2 -- a team that went on to finish second at the Legion World Series.
“We have a lot of guys coming back,’’ Carolin said. “We thought we’d have a good team.’’
East Grand Forks Legion coach Mike Lukkason said no plans have been made in Minnesota to fold for the summer.
“As of now, it’s in limbo,’’ Lukkasson said. “Nothing has been canceled. We’re still planning on playing.’’