May is typically a very busy month in the Rhode Island Baseball Experience calendar. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) has posted the Spring 2021 schedule and as of this past Monday, pitchers and catchers are allowed to report to their respective high schools to begin trying out. According to the RIIL, Rhode Island High School baseball season begins May 7. Most Rhode Island youth recreation baseball leagues, such as Little League® and Cal Ripken, begin the month of April with “Field Days”, parades, Opening Days, and then start playing regulation games in May. By May. many travel, showcase, and AAU organizations have played Spring baseball games and some have even competed in or will compete in regional tournaments. The various Rhode Island collegiate baseball teams, some of whom have been playing since February, are still playing baseball in April and May. And I just got word yesterday that the Spring, 2021 Rhode Island baseball calendar is about to get a lot busier.
For the past few weeks, I have been in contact with Jon Devolve of RIPCOA, the Rhode Island Principals’ Committee on Athletics. Jon has been extremely helpful and informative about the possibility of a 2021 Spring Season for Rhode Island Middle School baseball. During a follow up email to Jon, he stated that “Yes, there will be a season consisting of 6 Divisions with each school scheduled to play 10 games within their respective divisions. There will be no playoffs this year which is similar to what the other (Rhode Island) Middle School sports have done over the course of this year.” I asked Jon about the timing of the season, when would it start. He responded, “the season starts May 3, with teams being allowed to practice and games to follow shortly thereafter.” In years past, I have utilized the RIPCOA website to see schedules of games. You can access that website via this link – RIPCOA. I asked Jon to clarify the statement regarding “no playoffs,” asking him will there be a championship game or will the team with the winning record be crowned RI state champ? His reply was “there are no playoffs or championship this year.” Finally, I inquired about fans attending games. Jon’s response was “fans is up to the (Rhode Island) Department of Health and as of now, I am not sure we will allow any but that could change.”
So to summarize, there will be a 2021 Rhode Island Middle School baseball season. The season starts May 3rd with schools being allowed to hold practices and then a game schedule to follow. There will be 6 Divisions (up from 3 (Central, Northern, Southern) in previous years) and each school will play 10 games within their respective division. At the conclusion of the 10 game schedule, there will be no playoffs and no championship game. Fans, parents, family members, friends of the team – check with the Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines on attending outdoor events in May. And I encourage you to check with your local Rhode Island Middle School faculty and safety officers regarding attendance to see live games. There may be some live streaming or online application such as GameChanger or Tourney Machine that will score the games so you can follow along at home or at work. And as May 3rd approaches, you can check the official website of Rhode Island Middle School sports, like baseball, by clicking this link – RIPCOA – to find game schedules, standings, game locations, and much more.
Special thanks to Jon Devolve of the Rhode Island Principals’ Committee on Athletics for sharing this great news about the 2021 Rhode Island Middle School baseball season. Good luck to all the players, coaches, families, and schools participating.