SCMBA raring to play ball
It’s been a busy winter for the St. Catharines Minor Baseball Association.
The association has launched a redesigned website (www.stcatharinesbaseball.ca) which is more interactive and easier to navigate than their previous design.
“We wanted to redo our website,” SCMBA president Matt Zimmerman said. “It’s a lot more user friendly than our old system and has more features we can utilize as an association.”
The site permits on-line registration and the early results have been encouraging.
“Registration is open. That is our big push for February, to get it open along the lines with spring training for Major League Baseball,” Zimmerman said. “Since we’ve opened our registration, we’ve had probably 50 registrations already. We’re seeing a lot of younger ages coming back.”
Zimmerman said the plan is to run a full house league along with a select program and rep teams at the 9U (rookie ball), 11U (mosquito), 13U (peewee) and 15U (bantam) levels.
“The rep teams, we hope to have some type of season for those guys — whether it’s a bubble season like it was last year — or more of a regular season. We’re not really sure yet,” Zimmerman said. “It’s something we also have to discuss with Niagara District.”
Zimmerman said the rep teams have already been selected and are working out virtually once a week.
“We are wanting to have a regular season,” he said.
COVID, of course, is the great unknown.
“We figure there will be some types of COVID restrictions but we are prepared,” he said. “We have a COVID planning unit. We go over all the different policies. We not only have to follow the Ontario government but we also have to follow OBA rules and regional and city rules.
“We have somebody to interpret all those rules and to make into a baseball type system for us and we think we have put together a good plan for this year that will keep everybody safe and allow us to have a full season of baseball.”
Zimmerman also reports the association has scheduled four weekends of select and rep tournaments, COVID permitting.
The association was able to run a short, modified schedule last summer.
“We got on the field late and, at first, we suspended our season because no one knew what COVID (restrictions) we going to be. We were happy we got in the season we did, which I think was a month-and-a-half, and we went into September for the first time ever,” he said. “We learned some things from last year. We learned about the different COVID rules we have to put in place but I would say this year to have a full season will be very exciting.
“I can’t wait for baseball to be back.”
The association, which is working with students from the Brock University sports management program this year, is also still looking for volunteers. More information can be found on the web site.
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