Dear NSBA Families:
To those families that have chosen to remain registered to play baseball with the NSBA this season. Although the start of the season was delayed due to COVID-19, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry has recently stated:
“I think it’s really important. We know it’s less risky outside than inside. We know how important it is to have physical exercise, particularly for young people over the summer months and into the fall .”
The public health authorities have now developed guidelines to lift some restrictions on gathering in a responsible way for sport. Baseball is now permitted to move from Phase 1 (No community programming) to Phase 2 (return to play – training, small groups – 10 players). The timing of Phase 3 (larger groups, game play) is still to be determined and will be determined by our public health agencies, viaSport and Baseball BC. Baseball BC has been working with viaSport and the public health authorities to understand the current requirements for all phases and how they best apply within baseball. The NSBA board met on Thursday evening to review the Return to Sport Plan for baseball in Phase 2.
In order to resume play, the NSBA must ensure that:
- Health and safety of all individuals is a priority at all times.
- Activities are in alignment with provincial health recommendations.
- All required modifications to activities are in place in order to reduce the risks.
Things will definitely look different this season and the NSBA is currently developing specific operational/safety plans by division in order to incorporate the the following expectations:
- Those who don’t feel well or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, must stay home.
- Those who have traveled outside of Canada are not permitted at the facility/field until they have self-isolated for a minimum of 14 days.
- Those who live in a household with someone who has COVID-19 or is showing symptoms of COVID-19 must please stay home.
- Hand washing prior to participation is mandatory.
- No spectators permitted initially, progressing to limited spectators over time.
- Participants must bring their own equipment, water bottle and hand sanitizer.
- Participants must comply with physical distancing measures at all time.
- Participants must avoid physical contact with others, including shaking hands, high fives, etc.
- Participants must leave the field of play as quickly as possible after activities are complete.
The goal is to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 but it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk. Each family must make their own decision as to whether it is in their best interest to resume participation at this time. Although the Government of BC has provided new direction regarding amateur sport and liability related to COVID-19 transmission, all returning players must also complete a waiver prior to returning to any NSBA activities.
NSBA hopes to have access to fields shortly and expects to be able to offer baseball programming for at least July and August. We are reviewing each division to determine if we can still proceed based on player and coach numbers. We also expect that the participation requirements will likely be somewhat more flexible than in our usual season structure to accommodate for vacations and other commitments.
We recognize the incredible efforts made by all our NSBA volunteers every season but this year will require all of us to volunteer more than ever. Please consider increasing your volunteer time if you can. This is the only way we will be able to get going quickly while still complying with the requirements and keeping everyone as safe as possible. We will be sending out more information regarding volunteer opportunities in the next few weeks but if you have a specific area of interest or have the time to start helping now, please contact email@example.com
You will receive more detailed information from your Division Coordinator shortly regarding the status and structure for your division once final registration numbers are confirmed. In addition, due to some NSBA players cancelling their registration, teams will likely be reshuffled somewhat to ensure we have sufficient players and balanced teams.
If you no longer wish to continue with baseball this season, please contact our Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for your continued support and look forward to seeing you soon.
Board of Directors
North Shore Baseball Association