Better late than cancelled – Sooke minor fastball is aiming to hit the field for a short, late season.
Sooke Minor Fastball president Justin Wilson said he’s unsure of what the shortened season will look like, however, he hopes local youth will have the option to take the field soon.
“We are under the guidance of Softball B.C. and Softball Canada, and are working to salvage the season. We haven’t outlined how it will be, and are waiting to hear protocols for returning to play,” said Wilson.
“I am not sure what the participation level will be, and ultimately people have to feel comfortable coming out to the field. I expect some will stay home, which is OK, everyone is feeling a bit different.”
Most sporting event across the country have been cancelled or delayed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wilson said his top priority is to ensure players’ safety, and there’ll be a few phases to work through before any form of season returns.
Sooke Minor Fastball officials still need to approach the Sooke Community Association about the possibility of opening up the field for play.
The next phase would be coming up with a waiver which everyone will need to sign, acknowledging there could be a risk with playing. Once all documents and registrants are sent in, players would be covered under Softball B.C. liability insurance.
Wilson said fastball is not much of a contact sport, so hopefully the adjustments made in order to play will be relatively easy to achieve.
“Everything is still a bit uncertain because things are changing all the time, but my hope is to get kids on field for practice for now, and see how that goes before getting into a game situation,” he said.
“I feel there is an avenue to get kids playing and be safe. Kids have been cooped up for so long – for good reason – but it’s good to get them outside and exercising again.”
Whether there will be lasting impacts on fastball in Sooke, Wilson isn’t sure, but he predicts the pandemic will not greatly affect future participation, as the sport has a long standing history in the community.
“I think we will come out okay. This year our membership was up, and who knows, we may even see an increase again because other sports might have difficulty with the changes,” Wilson said.
“At this point just looking to get on field and see how it goes. The season is short, and we have winter to see if things recover fully. Next season, if the world is a healthy place and it is safe to do so, I hope to see everyone back on the field again.”