After last week's announcement from the government regarding the province's reopening plans, the Bradford Minor Baseball Association (BMBA) met to discuss plans for the upcoming season.
"Obviously our preference would be to start after the long weekend, but the ongoing response to the pandemic has impacted not only baseball, but all sporting activity across Ontario," said BMBA President John McBeth.
Under Step 1 of the reopening plan, estimated to start on June 14, team sports of up to 10 players can resume play. Step 2, which is estimated to commence on July 5, can have practices for up to 25 people, and Step 3, estimated to starts on July 26, can allow for scrimmages and games.
Based on the opening guidelines, the BMBA has created an adjusted schedule for the 2021 season.
"I must caution that this plan is fluid, understanding that movement between the government's phases could change which would require us to shift our strategy," said McBeth.
- Registration for the season will close on June 14. Currently, fees for the season will remain the same but if there is an opportunity to return some money to all of the teams at the end of the year, they will. If a child has already registered but would like to cancel, you can reach out to the registrar as soon as possible.
- Practices will be allowed to commence on July 5, dependent on government direction.
- Regular season games would begin on July 26 with a goal of having a compact season, with one to two games per week.
- The season will conclude on Sept. 3. This will permit those involved in other activities or sport to attend those sessions which usually begin at the start of the school year.
"The response to the pandemic has impacted every corner of our society, but the BMBA is really hopeful that as Ontario moves through its new step system that we can get the kids on the diamond safely," said McBeth. "I am confident that having a compact season that begins at the end of July and runs through to the long weekend in September will not only get the kids outside playing a team sport, but it will be a welcome relief to parents who have had sports and other activities impacted by COVID-19 restrictions."
To date, the Association has upwards of 250 kids registered, but McBeth is hopeful that with the detailed plans laid out, the number of registrants will grow "so we can deliver a great baseball season this summer."