Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - May 22 update


May. 22, 2020


Baseball Alberta’s Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The safety of our players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and fans is our outmost importance and we appreciate your patience during this time. Baseball Alberta is continuing to monitor the sites below as the public health risk is being continually assessed and updates on COVID-19 can be found at the following links. Please stay home, stay safe and know that we look forward to getting back to playing baseball when it is safe to do so.

Public Health Agency of Canada

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Alberta Health Services

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx

 
Baseball Alberta would like to advise all member associations, teams, leagues, members (players & coaches), umpires and stakeholders to follow Provincial recommendations and not engage in any congregated activity such as practices, games, events or tournaments until September 1, 2020.

At this time Baseball Alberta will not be sanctioning any baseball related activities. Please note that any association or individual that chooses to continue with baseball related activities during this time will be doing so unsanctioned, at their own risk and without insurance coverages in place. 

May 22, 2020 UPDATE

The Baseball Alberta Board of Directors and staff’s focus continues to be the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans .We respect the orders and restrictions that have been put in place in our province by our Chief Medical Officer of Health and her team.  As such, we have taken a measured approach to resuming baseball activities. 

As mentioned in our May 8 announcement, a Return to Train protocols document was under way and is now in the submission process for review by Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta. Although Baseball Alberta’s restriction of all in person activities remains in place, we await further clarification regarding guidance for organized (outdoor) sport, and we remain optimistic that there will be a Return to Train opportunity this summer. 

While we acknowledge that it will not look the same as in past years, we are looking forward to our athletes being on the baseball diamonds. We will be updating our website and social media with information in the event that we have changes to communicate.  

Ron Van Keulen

May 8, 2020 UPDATE

Baseball Alberta’s Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel ALL in-person Baseball Alberta sanctioned events and activities until September 1, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

With the current Provincial Health orders and restrictions in place, such as social distancing, gathering limits and limitations on non-essential travel along with numerous municipal closures, we deemed this to be the best course of action to ensure the safety of our membership. The health and safety of our athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans were our main priorities in arriving at this difficult decision. 

“Although this decision will be disappointing to baseball families across Alberta, we felt it was important to provide guidance to our members in these uncertain times. With the warmer weather upon us, we would like nothing more than to be out playing baseball, however the reality is that at this time it is not safe to do so. We must respect the orders and restrictions that have been put in place in our province by our Chief Medical Officer of Health and her team” said Baseball Alberta Vice President Jon Oko 

This is a very fluid situation and is subject to change as new information becomes available. Baseball Alberta is currently developing return-to-train protocols to allow for the resumption of in-person baseball activities once it is deemed safe to do so. 

We will be updating our website and social media with information, in the event that we have changes to communicate. 


Ron VanKeulen

President, Baseball Alberta 


Further inquiries can be emailed to:

Tam Rosnau

Executive Director 

Operations@baseballalberta.com

 

April 15, 2020 - UPDATE

The Baseball Alberta Board of Directors has made the decision to extend the suspension of ALL sanctioned Baseball Alberta in-person events until June 1, 2020. The Board will continue to meet on a regular basis to re-evaluate the situation as information becomes available, and will provide further updates following these meetings.

APRIL 6, 2020 UPDATE

Baseball Alberta recognizes that the original roster deadline of April 9th is not applicable in our current situation. We would ask that you please submit ALL team entries by midnight tonight and once we have further information on the status of the 2020 baseball season we will work with Associations to ensure we have the most up to date rosters prior to play.

MARCH 20, 2020 UPDATE

Baseball Alberta is suspending all sanctioned activities until April 30, 2020.

We have been in discussions with Baseball Canada and the other provinces regarding the impact of the COVID-19 on the upcoming 2020 baseball season.  We have been collectively considering the best information available from our national and provincial health authorities on how best to manage activities in this unprecedented time.  Baseball Canada has advised that all sanctioned baseball activities are suspended until at least April 30, 2020. 

Specifically, Baseball Canada has postponed or cancelled the following four events on the pre-season calendar:

  • NCCP Competition-Development Coach Workshop, Florida
  • Junior National Team Spring Training, Florida
  • National Umpire Committee Meeting, Toronto
  • National SafeSport Meeting, Ottawa

Baseball Canada is investigating options to deliver NCCP coach clinics online.  We will share more information on this as it becomes available. 

The term "sanctioned" is an important term that we use in these communications as it pertains to our sport insurance policy.  Please note that any Member that chooses to continue with baseball related activities during this time would be doing so unsanctioned, at their own risk, and without insurance coverage in place.  This would also apply to athletes participating in private training activities outside the programs of our Member Associations.

All in-person Baseball Alberta League meetings are cancelled as part of the suspension of sanctioned activities.  However, we are looking at options to conduct our pre-season league meetings in April via conference call.

Baseball Alberta recognizes that this decision will result in many questions regarding the status of the 2020 house league / community and competition seasons.  While we do not have all the answers to these questions, Baseball Alberta is working with its members and peers to determine the best path forward with protecting the health and safety of our participants - players, coaches, and umpires - as our highest priority.

Please stay tuned to our website for further updates as they are available.

MARCH 17, 2020 UPDATE

Effective March 17, 2020, the Baseball Alberta office will be closed to public access.  The Baseball Alberta staff will be working remotely and continue to be available to be contacted by the membership during regular office hours.  The staff will have access to email during this time as well as the ability to be contacted via voice or text at the following numbers: 

Brendan Smith, League Coordinator:  780-975-1401

Ryan Bird, Program Coordinator:  780-975-1401

Tam Rosnau, Operations Coordinator:  780-975-8424

Darren Dekinder, Executive Director:  780-914-6494 

The current COVID-19 outbreak has significantly curtailed businesses across the province and introduced uncertainty into many businesses including ours.   The Baseball Alberta Executive has determined that it is prudent at this time to conserve cash resources and encourages our members to review their respective budgets for opportunities to reduce costs for the 2020 season.  We are reviewing the Baseball Alberta budget to ensure that we remain financially sound and are able to support our members through this difficult time.  We would also announce that one program that we will be suspending for the 2020 season is the 2020 Facility Grant Program.

We want to thank all members who have submitted their team entries for the upcoming AAA season.  We are working on schedules and will be sending out draft schedules for the respective age categories for our coaches to review as soon as we are able. 

We are proceeding with our AA team entry deadline of April 6.  However, we will be extending the AA roster deadline for Initial Roster submission to Tuesday, April 21 at noon to address the fact that most Associations have had their team selection process disrupted by these events.  This deadline may be further extended as this situation evolves.

We are using the best available information that we have today to be able to project a possible start date for the season, but ask all of our members to recognize that the nature of this outbreak is unpredictable and may necessitate changes to the normal start of the season in May. 

Please stay tuned to our website for further updates as they are available.

March 13, 2020

As of Friday, March 13, 2020, Baseball Alberta is suspending all sanctioned activities until April 6, 2020.

 

A decision on sanctioned activities beyond April 6, 2020 will be communicated by April 3, 2020 at 4:00pm via our website and social media.

 

Sanctioned activities include evaluation camps for all Teams Alberta including the scheduled evaluation event for the Canada Cup team, all player clinics and camps, all NUCP Umpire Clinics, all NCCP coach clinics, and all Baseball Alberta League meetings.

 

There have been many media reports in recent days regarding the risk of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the World Health Organization declaration of a pandemic.  Baseball Alberta recognizes the seriousness of this situation and we want to reassure our members that we are committed to the health and safety of all baseball participants.  The most current information on COVID-19 can be found on the Alberta Health Services website at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16997.aspx

 

Alberta Health Services provides the following recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus.

To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19, you should:

  • Wash your hands often and well
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
  • Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health
  • When sick, cover your cough and sneezes and then wash your hands

 

  1. Are other Baseball Alberta members’ activities being suspended?

 

Baseball Alberta Member Association activities such as player evaluations for team selection for the upcoming season are recommended to be suspended as well.  Please contact your local Association for specific details on their events.

 

  1. Is the 2020 Baseball Alberta league season being cancelled?

 

Baseball Alberta is not cancelling the 2020 season at this time.  The scheduled start of the season in May 2020 is several weeks from today and expected to be able to proceed.  However, this is a fluid situation and we will be reevaluating our plans for the upcoming season as more information becomes available.

  

  1. What is Baseball Alberta recommending to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

 

In addition to the Alberta Health Services recommendations noted above, Baseball Alberta recommends the following:

 

  • Members are asked to evaluate any hygiene practices involving shared equipment.
    • Recommend that batting helmets are not shared.
    • Recommend that catcher’s gear be wiped down with antiseptic wipes after each game or practice or change of user.
    • Recommend that players wear personal batting gloves when using team bats that are shared between players.
    • Ask players to minimize practices such as licking their fingers and spitting in their gloves as a way to minimize saliva contact with the baseball.
    • Ensure players wash their hands after baseball activities. There is nothing that we really can do about reducing direct contact with the most common object that all participants will touch … the ball, but we can ensure that we wash our hands after contact with the ball at tryouts or practices.

 

  1. What do I do if I am already registered for a Baseball Alberta sanctioned activity?

 

Please contact the Baseball Alberta office if you are choosing to withdraw from a Baseball Alberta event that you have registered for and we will be happy to provide a full refund.  In addition, if we are unable to reschedule an activity, we will be providing full refunds to participants that have already paid.  This may include the upcoming Girls Baseball Clinics planned for Calgary and southern Alberta.

 

Baseball Alberta would again reiterate that this is a very fluid event and subject to changes in approach as new information becomes available.  We will be updating our website and social media with information if we have changes to communicate.

 

Ron Van Keulen

President

On behalf of the Baseball Alberta Board of Directors