SCMBA eager to hit the field
It has been hurry up and wait this off season for the St. Catharines Minor Baseball Association.
The association has their house league and rep teams set to go, but are still awaiting word from the Ontario government when they can get on the field due to the COVID pandemic.
“Until we get the go ahead from the government, our hands are tied,” SCMBA president Matt Zimmerman said. “We have lots going on, but nothing at the same time.”
SCMBA will run three teams of Blast Ball (5U, 6U, 7U) which should not be impacted by COVID restrictions.
“We’re going to run that with groups of six which is how we usually run it anyway,” Zimmerman said. “We should be OK for COVID precautions. We will be able to have a couple of teams on the field.”
The older divisions of house league — 9U, 11U, 13U, 15U, 18U and 22U — will likely be required to play in bubbles of 50.
“There is a waiting list some in some divisions,” Zimmerman said. “The more people that sign up, the more teams we will have. We’ve already added three players off the 11U wait list to the registration list.”
On the rep side, the association will have teams in rookie ball (9U), first year pitching (11U), peewee (13U), bantam (15U).
“The rep is bit of an unknown,” Zimmerman said. “The rep teams are still engaging with online training. All our teams are made. We’re just on hold and as soon as we can get on the field we’ll be ready to go. Convenors in NDBA (Niagara District Baseball Association) have been putting together schedules already.”
There will be no rep tournaments this summer.
“All tournaments have been cancelled by OBA and I would also assume no OBAs, but they haven’t announced no OBAs,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman has been encouraged how much work volunteers have done behind the scenes to prepare for the season with so many unknowns.
“It’s great to see how many people want to see this succeed and get off the ground and it’s frustrating to see how close we are to good weather and to being on the fields,” he said. “We may have to wait, but we’re in a pandemic and we have to realize that. We’re taking all the precautions we can to get everybody back.”
Zimmerman is hopeful players can get on the field when the current lockdown is lifted.
“This is all based on colours. We can’t play any sport until orange but we can practice outdoor in red and hopefully, there has been talk of letting 10 people gather outdoor if we open in grey,” he said.
Zimmerman reports registrations, which end May 24, are currently at about 350.
“That’s good coming back from a COVID year,” he said.
The association is also in need of coaches and umpires. For more details, visit http://www.stcatharinesbaseball.ca.
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