Baseball Is On The Horizon
Posted May 28, 2021
We finally have a date for the Powerline Baseball League to return to the field, kind of. The provincial government recently announced a new three stage return to normal plan that was unexpected, exciting and perhaps a little questionable to many. Just as fast as the coronavirus came sweeping into our lives, it seems like it is ready to be swept away in a flurry of loosening restrictions over the next 3-4 weeks.
Here are the key takeaways that pertain to the PBL and it's teams, you can read the full information on the Government of Alberta website here: https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx
June 1 - Stage 1 (50% of eligible population with first dose of vaccine and <800 hospitalizations) - teams will be permitted to participate in group practices similar to what was permitted before the restrictions that game into effect on May 9. Groups of 10 players will be allowed to hit the field in socially distanced practices with 2m of spacing between players and 3m spacing between different groups of 10 on the same playing surface. It was announced that the two weeks had started prior to the unveiling of the plan by the government on Tuesday May 25.
June 10 - Stage 2 (60% of eligible population with first dose of vaccine and <500 hospitalizations) - at this stage, the PBL will be permitted to resume with no restrictions. Teams will be able to play each other and travel in a normal, regular season schedule. Bleacher seating will be set to 1/3 capacity as well. It was announced on the afternoon of May 28 by the Premier that the two week countdown was on for Stage 2 which would open up on June 10.
So, after 15 months of up, downs, incoming restrictions, loosening restrictions and a frustrating rinse and repeat cycle, there appears to finally be light at the end of the tunnel.
The PBL Executive is currently discussing options for what a regular season would look like with the league looking at possibly a 10 game regular season that would now could likely start on Thursday June 10. The league would likely also be looking at altering roster rules to allow teams to ensure that they have enough players available to play a compact schedule while navigating family vacations and the province opening up for the first time in a year and a half.
There is also a likelihood that baseball fans will see a more diverse league schedule with the potential of more non-traditional Tuesday/Thursday game nights as well as some weekend double headers or mini-tournaments to get league games in.
Of course, all of this could change overnight, something that we are all too familiar with by now. So please ensure you follow the current provincial guidelines that are still in effect until June 1, get vaccinated if you can and we hope to see everyone on the field shortly.
Here are the current restrictions that will be in place on June 1 according to the Baseball Alberta website:
May 26th, 2021 UPDATE
Stage 1 Restrictions for Youth + Adult Sport
Restrictions coming into effect on June 1st
Eligible participants include:
- Youth 18 years old and under
- Adults 19 years old and older.
- Members of a collegiate or university athletic program, if over 18 years old
- Coaches or trainers
Note: 19 Year old overage players are permitted to participate in youth team sport activities at this time. Adult only groups (19 years old or older) are also permitted to train with restrictions.
Limited group physical activities allowed
- No indoor sports games, competitions, team practice or league play of any kind is allowed.
- Outdoor training for team sports is permitted for individuals and groups of 10 or fewer, provided 2 metre distancing is maintained.
- Games are not allowed.
Fitness, recreation, and sports competitions, tournaments, showcases, or similar, are not permitted at this time for Albertans of any age, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Maximum of 10 total individuals, including all coaches, trainers, and participants per group.
- Outdoor playing surfaces (for example, arena, field, court or swimming pool) may be occupied by more than one youth group, as long as 2-metres of physical distancing can be maintained between groups of 10 and the groups do not intermingle. Coaches must remain with their group for the entire session.
- For any group of youths doing sport, fitness, or recreation, up to 2 additional adults may attend to provide safety and security to that group.
- These chaperoning adults must stay 3 metres away from the participants and not participate in the activity.
- Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all times:
- 2 metres physical distance for outdoor activities
- Coaches or trainers may enter physical distancing space for brief interactions with participants (for example, to correct form or technique). Coaches must be masked for these close interactions.
- Masking is required if you cannot maintain physical distancing of up to 2m
- Access to change rooms must be limited, including accelerated arrival and departure, emergencies (for example, first aid) and washroom use.
- Up to 10 spectators can attend a permitted outdoor sport, fitness, or recreation activity so long as individuals stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not part of their household.
- Organizers should ask participants to bring their own equipment/materials, where feasible.
- If the organizer is providing equipment or materials, they should minimize the shared use of equipment/materials, and, if possible, assign specific equipment/materials to each attendee.
- For sports/activities that require shared equipment to be handled (e.g., shared baseballs), participants need to perform hand hygiene before and after the activity.