Does East Side Schedule Around Religious Holidays?
East Side Baseball Association was founded by members of New Providence Baptist Church, but remains a secular community organization, not affiliated with or sponsored by any religious organization. It is not ESBA’s role to “honor” religious holidays or occasions, and should not be expected to avoid activities on religious holidays any more than any other area youth sports or secular organizations - schools, government, banks, the Atlanta Braves or Tech and Georgia football.
However, when multiple teams may potentially be missing players on certain special days, ESBA tries to schedule around days such as Easter Sunday and Jewish holidays. This is for practical reason, not for the purpose of honoring a religious observance, for which our large, diverse membership may have many during the year.
ESBA attempts to schedule around the playing dates affected by three Jewish holidays. However, when the holiday falls on a weekend, it can affect up to 75% of a league's games for that week, possibly causing permanent loss of games if not played, or severe disruption of the traditional schedule or pitching inning allowances. Inclement weather make-up games and high participation numbers can also affect days scheduled.
It is ESBA's position that any such scheduling efforts will maintain the full number of games normally and traditionally played each season, and that entire Saturdays will not be totally avoided, except for spring break. A limited number of weekend games will be scheduled on holidays - those that cannot be played on another day of the same week. Then, an attempt to avoid certain hours conflicting with worship services or special times of day will be made.
Most everyone misses a ball game on occasion - might be due to an illness, or a business commitment, or a wedding or a funeral. ESBA Playing Rules provide for teams to pick up fill-in players if short-rostered.
ESBA also schedules around Georgia Milestones and fall and spring breaks, SAT exams and receives numerous requests not to play on a variety of other days - other religious holidays, teacher work days, school field trips, band concerts, numerous graduations, competing sporting events, etc. Obviously, it would be difficult to conduct any semblance of a satisfactory baseball season for the majority if any and all requests were honored. The board and scheduling committee must consider each issue and its impact on the majority and the season's schedule, but remembering it's just kids playing baseball…