WEDDINGTON, N.C. — For many families, sports, field trips after-school activities and proms have been canceled to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Before the wave of uncertainty hit, a Waxhaw family registered two of their boys for Little League baseball.
“They were definitely excited,” Dave said. “Our youngest really enjoys playing and for our oldest, it was going to be his first, so he was excited.”
Dave and Elizabeth paid $500 to enroll both boys in spring baseball with the Wesley Chapel Weddington Athletic Association. The season was supposed to run from March until May.
Elizabeth said their youngest boy only went to one practice and their oldest had three before COVID-19 brought everything to a standstill.
Elizabeth said almost all the organizations their kids are involved with, gave them refunds.
“We didn't even have to ask to ask for a refund,” she said. “Everyone contacted us individually.”
Dave and Elizabeth asked for their money back and all the organizations granted that, except for the WCWAA.
“We didn’t pay that $500 on the pretense that it was a donation,” Dave said. “It’s not fair to take peoples hard-earned money and there’s no season, nothing in return for it. It just doesn’t make sense.”
The Little League president sent the couple an email and said the organization was not able to offer refunds and cited the policy that no refund would be issued.
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An attorney for the couple sent a letter to the organization, and it responded stating its no-refund policy.
“What could they have spent it on?” Dave questioned. “They didn’t play a season. They didn’t get the chance to play.
In an e-mail to Channel 9, the organization’s president said it has not made a decision yet on refunds and hopes to still play a spring season. The president told Channel 9 the WCWAA nonprofit private organization and does not receive state or local funding.
He also cited the recurring monthly expenses, which include maintenance of 16 fields, insurance and utilities. He said many of the spring sports organizers already purchased equipment and uniforms before the pandemic hit.
“We didn’t sign up for a summer season,” Elizabeth said. “We signed up for spring. Summer, even if it is going to happen, doesn’t work for us.”
Initially, the couple said they weren’t offered a credit to roll the payment into next year’s season. Now the organization told Channel 9 a credit might be the most reasonable remedy.
Dave and Elizabeth said that might not work for them.
“We’ve already kind of made the decision that we won’t be participating in any future sports there,” Elizabeth said.
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