Baseball Alberta officially cancels summer season due to COVID-19
EDMONTON -- Alberta's governing body for baseball has officially cancelled the summer season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baseball Alberta cancelled all in-person events until Sept. 1, 2020 Friday, citing restrictions such as physical distancing, large gatherings and non-essential travel as the causes of its decision.
“Although this decision will be disappointing to baseball families across Alberta, we felt it was important to provide guidance to our members in these uncertain times," Baseball Alberta Vice President Jon Oko said. "With the warmer weather upon us, we would like nothing more than to be out playing baseball, however the reality is that at this time it is not safe to do so. We must respect the orders and restrictions that have been put in place in our province by our Chief Medical Officer of Health and her team."
Baseball Alberta added its decision is subject to change and that it is developing protocols to return to practice once the province deems it safe.
Baseball Canada had already announced the cancellation of its 2020 national championships due to concerns about the disease.
St. Albert Minor Baseball told CTV News prior to the announcement it's still hopeful some form of baseball will take place in late summer or fall. The league has suspended sanctioned events and is preparing to issue refunds.
League president Kurtus Millar said Baseball Alberta's announcement Friday has him as disappointed as other parents.
"I have two boys. Two very disapponted boys," he said. "They love baseball so it was tough giving them that news. I haven't received any positive feedback."
Softball Alberta and Little League have previously announced delays to their seasons, but have not cancelled them outright.
Softball Alberta has created a committee to develop a return-to-play plan that would abide by provincial rules.
"If the numbers are 15 or less we have to comply with that," said Peter Gogich. "We're looking at introducing extra bases that would allow for that distancing to occur."
The organization hopes to present its plan to the province in the coming weeks. If approved, it will approach municipalities with details.
The Edmonton Sport and Social Club told CTV News it's optimistic some organized sports will still be allowed, but for now, it's studying alternative revenue sources.
"We're just trying to find ways to keep our community together, even though we can't be together in person," said Caitlin Richer, senior marketing manager for ESSC. "I think it's a pretty natural fit for us to get into the e-sports world."
The club's new e-sports is scheduled to take off on May 21.