Moosomin Minor Ball looking forward to a return to play this week
June 4, 2021, 3:19 pm
Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Members of Moosmin Minor Ball are itching to return to the diamond following the loosening of restrictions as of Sunday.
Last week the Government of Saskatchewan announced that outdoor sports would be included in Step One of the Re-Opening Roadmap, meaning many of the restrictions that were in place were eased, including group size restrictions and games being prohibited.
President of Moosomin Minor Ball Brad Payette says last week’s announcement came as a shock.
He says that he is now in the process of putting together a schedule with other minor ball organizations.
“We’ve been in a kind of mad scramble and got all the jerseys sorted to hand out to the teams so they’ll have them when they can actually do games. I’m doing a zoom call with Moose Mountain Minor Ball League to submit our team rosters and find out how many towns have teams so we can throw together a quick schedule and hopefully start games next week depending on Baseball Sask’s return to play guidelines,” Payette said.
Prior to the eased restrictions, Payette says that the players were not permitted to play games, scrimmage, or do anything beyond the maximum pod size of eight.
He says that if the restrictions had not eased up, there likely would have been more players leaving the game.
“Practice was restricted somewhat following some of the guidelines. We could only have groups of eight with a coach, sanitizing our equipment, keeping social distance, that all played a little bit of a role but we were still able to get the kids out and playing ball, just a little more cautiously and spread out than normal.
“We weren’t permitted to even scrimmage. It was limited to just practice with just groups of eight on a field with a maximum of 30 people on a diamond, so we could only run three groups of eight. They were all socially distanced. With the restrictions, the way they were there was no scrimmage or minigames that were permitted,” said Payette.
“To be honest had games not been announced to be a go here the way they were, I think another two weeks of just practice we’d see 20 to 30 per cent of the kids that were registered begin to drop off.”
Payette says that the players are excited to begin a somewhat normal year.
“The kids are pumped. This is what they’ve been waiting on forever.”
Restrictions eased for outdoor sports
Beginning May 30, 2021, competition and game play for outdoor team sports can proceed with the following requirements:
Participants may not compete if they are feeling unwell.
Players and coaches should be encouraged to screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving to practice and play, using the self-assessment tool at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.
League play is allowed to resume; however, tournaments are not permitted at this time. This will be revisited in Step Two of the Re-Opening Roadmap.
No interprovincial travel. Teams competing in regional interprovincial leagues need to contact the Business Response Team prior to beginning play.
Capacity must be in compliance with the public health order for public outdoor gatherings for each playing surface or game area. Public outdoor gatherings are set to expand to a limit of 150 people on May 30 as part of the Re-Opening Roadmap. Common areas, such as those where there are multiple playing surfaces, must also be in compliance with gathering limits in the public health order.
Individual and protective equipment should not be shared. When helmets and bats or other equipment are shared, cleaning and disinfecting must occur between each use.
Commonly touched equipment used for game play (e.g. game ball, football) is routinely replaced or disinfected during the course of practice or play.
Coaches, officials, umpires, referees and players who are not on the field are not required to wear masks outdoors under the public health order. However, masks may be worn if they are more comfortable with that layer of protection.
No shaking hands, high-fives, etc.
Spectators not from the same household should maintain two metres of physical distancing.
Spectators must remain in designated areas. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors under the public health order, but they may be worn if spectators are more comfortable with that layer of protection.
Hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN) or soap and water handwashing stations should be available for participants and spectators.
No sharing of water bottles.
Public washrooms, when available, are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and soap and water or hand sanitizer is available.
Contact information of the coaches, officials and players should be recorded by the home team and maintained in order to assist with contact tracing for 30 days in the case of a confirmed case of COVID-19.