Local sports organizers are holding out hope for an abbreviated summer season.
Following the announcement last week of Phase 2 and the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions, Trail Youth Baseball League (TYBL) president Jim Maniago was more optimistic that the boys and girls of summer will still get to play.
“Yes, we’ve said all along, we’ll wait this out and hope for good news and it sounds like we got that last Wednesday in the Premier’s speech,” said Maniago.
Premier John Horgan, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix introduced Phase 2 of the plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions, which includes the resumption of outdoor sports and recreation.
Yet for TYBL and Trail Minor Baseball the prospect of a season still carries a lot of uncertainty.
“There’s still lots of unknowns but I’ve been in close contact with the president of Baseball BC and we’ll find out more this week as to what we can do, when, and what it will look like,” said Maniago.
“There’s been lots of banter about the possible modifications and I’ve had some input into that so we’ll see what the final outcome is.”
Maniago coached the West Kootenay Orioles to the American Legion ‘A’ Washington State baseball championship last season, and was looking forward to another run. But the coronavirus pandemic and resulting closure of the border has squashed any prospect of a repeat performance.
Despite the glimmer of hope, many summer sports, like Kootenay South Youth Soccer Association (KSYSA), already cancelled their seasons.
Based on feedback from parents, KSYSA cancelled the 2020 House Youth and Mini Soccer seasons on April 27, but deferred a decision on Select Soccer.
“If the go ahead is received from BC Soccer and the provincial medical health officer, training for Select Soccer could be run via drills, fitness, and skills work that could be undertaken while still social distancing.
“There may be tournaments in the fall. However, the Select season will not be as it would have been without COVID-19. As a result, we will reach out to Select families only to find out what is acceptable to you in terms of cost and time on the field.”
The Trail Stingrays swim club summer season is on hold, and is waiting for direction from the BC Summer Swimming Association (BCSSA).
In an earlier announcement, the BCSSA indicated that May 15 would be the “decision deadline for initiating a modified 2020 summer swimming season with a simulated Provincial Championships run Regionally.”
The various sporting organizations also need the City of Trail to open facilities like Andy Bilesky Park, Butler Park, Trail Memorial Centre and the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
A message to families on Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association website says, GTMHA has been in virtual talks with BC Hockey and Hockey Canada in assessing the potential for an upcoming season.
“Hockey Canada’s latest messaging to minor hockey is that they are optimistic players will be and hopefully, without delay being back on the ice early fall. Therefore, GTMHA is continuing to plan for the 2020-2021 season continuing and we are ensuring we will be ready.”
Maniago plans to meet with Trail Minor Baseball’s president this week to hammer out some sort of plan for play this summer.
“We will work together, and we’ve been in contact with the city as we need the parks to open up of course, but it all sounds pretty good and I think we will have some sort of baseball this year.”
The TYBL president isn’t sure whether the leagues will include just a house league or an All Star team as well, and in truth, it probably doesn’t matter, as long as the kids get to play.
“It will depend on interest, we don’t know what people will want to do,” added Maniago. “We’ll have to ensure we have everything in place and volunteers to support the modifications, but I’m a lot more optimistic than I was a week ago.”