The Trail Orioles were given the go ahead for a return to play and will host the Cranbrook Bandits at Butler Park on Saturday. Jim Bailey photo.

Trail Orioles given the go ahead to return to limited action

Trail Orioles will host the Cranbrook Bandits in a doubleheader on Saturday at Butler Park

Baseball is back on at Butler Park.

Trail Youth Baseball (TYB) president Jim Maniago reported that viaSport, the governing body of amateur sport in BC, gave the go ahead for ‘interim bubbles’ of three teams.

”My understanding is that soon the bubbles will be expanding to a bigger number, so all the lower mainland leagues are planning a schedule,” said Maniago. “That left us in a scramble to find teams to play us because we aren’t in any of the Canadian leagues.”

On Saturday, the Cranbrook Bandits will travel to Trail to play a doubleheader against the Trail Orioles (Grade 10-12 team). Both teams normally play in their respective American Legion leagues in Montana and Washington State, but the pandemic has shut down any travel across the border.

TYB cancelled its baseball season back in May due to the pandemic, but players and coaches returned to the field at the end of June after the province opened parks and fields, and viaSport gave the go ahead for a limited number of players and coaches to practice.

Related read: Baseball BC moves to full-team outdoor practices

For the past month, the Trail teams have been practicing and playing exhibition games with COVID protocols in place, but nothing compares to actual game situations, and finally being able to play competitive baseball.

“Depending on when the bubbles expand, we could possibly look at a fall house league if there is interest with the increased protocols … we’ll see,” said Maniago.

The Okanagan A’s, Kelowna’s Premier Baseball League team, has also committed to play Trail later this month.

“The kids are just happy to be playing some real games for now!”

The Bandits-Orioles games will go at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Butler Park.

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