UPDATE JUNE 10
- We have received the Baseball BC guidelines and City of Surrey Guidelines and believe, depending on numbers of players and coaches as yet undetermined, that we can safely provide programming for players age 9+ that meet the guidelines
- Due to multiple factors, including but not limited to the high level of safety protocols dictated by the guidelines including restrictions on the ratio of child to adult coach, we are unable to provide safe programming for players age 8 and under (though 8 year olds may be able to join our 9’s depending on numbers of players and coaches still to be determined.)
- Due to unavoidable fixed operational costs incurred for this season (Insurance, City utilities, Website costs and registration system fees, etc) we can only provide a maximum 75% refund.
- Recognizing every family situation is different, families are given an option to donate all or part of their refund towards the planned batting cage renovations.
- Survey results so far indicate the “Season” will likely run from mid-June through labor day weekend with an option on fall ball.
- Some restrictions to play as per province mandate (i.e. one spectator per child, drills and development only for first few weeks at least, personal distancing, and enhanced hygiene and logistics measures in the park)
Hello to all Whalley Little League players, parents, family members, volunteers, friends and supporters. We hope you are all doing well during these challenging times.
This message is written on behalf of the Board of Directors to provide the status of our plans for baseball in Whalley. We are regularly monitoring the developments and doing everything we can to get back to baseball as soon as possible.
This message contains a lot of information because we will follow it with a survey and need you to make informed decisions.
CURRENT STATUS OF BASEBALL
- This week the Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry gave us some cautious but promising news about the resumption of youth sports in phase 2 of the BC restart plan. She said “We will have sport, but it will be different.”
- On May 31st, the provincial government sport agency VIASPORT released their return to sport guidelines for all sports: Viasport Return to Sport Guidelines
- Baseball BC will soon release Return to Play guidelines for baseball that are consistent with the ViaSport approach: Baseball BC suspension of play covid 19 concerns
- The City of Surrey is establishing clear criteria that all sport activities will need to meet prior to any permit approval.
- Our League will be formulating our return to sport plan to meet the guidelines.
RESUMPTION OF PLAY IN WHALLEY
We are optimistic that baseball can safely meet the guidelines. However, it is quite likely that the activities allowed will not be traditional competitive team-based baseball for some time still. Here is a link to the chart of Viasport timelines: Viasport chart of activities allowed over time
Our league must now finalize our plans for resumption of play. This comes with significant organizing challenges as follows:
- Despite our best efforts to make baseball safe, parents players and volunteers will have different preferences of whether and when to play.
- Depending on our number of retuning players for the revised activities, this may require a redraft and/or restructuring of our traditional divisions.
- Some younger age groups may not be capable of maintaining the necessary discipline required to meet the return to play guidelines of social distancing, masks, etc.
BASIC ASSUMPTIONS REQUIRED TO RESUME PLAY
LIABILITY AND WAIVERS
- Pandemic related illnesses are excluded by all liability insurance policies. We assume the city of Surrey will issue permits in the absence of this insurance. Whalley will then have to determine if we will operate on that basis depending on our risk assessment once the baseball guidelines are released.
- We assume the 50 person limit on gatherings will be applied on a per diamond basis and not to the park as a whole. This may require segmentation of the diamonds and no mixing of populations from one diamond to the next. This may require significant coordination of clubhouse bathroom facilities and or portable bathroom facilities. According to the viasport guidelines Coordination of drop off and pick up areas will be required.
- All parents will have to sign a Covid 19 specific risk notification and waiver of liability form to release Whalley and The City of Surrey before they will be allowed to play.
AGE DIVISIONS STATUS
Ages 9 -14
It is likely that this division will be able to proceed with in-house development. This may be followed by significantly modified exhibition development and eventually significantly modified in-house games with no travel games. Parent attendance will be significantly curtailed depending on anticipated clarifications regarding the 50-person limit.
The major division draft selections may need to be revised depending on the number of players intending to play and the duration of the season so this will also affect the number of players in the minor division.
The Board of Directors is concerned that these divisions are likely to be too difficult to safely ensure the maintenance of physical distancing and engineered solutions set out by the return to play provincial guidelines.
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND REFUND POLICY
As we prepare to resume the 2020 season, we have several considerations for our registration costs and refund policy.
We know that families will have different points of view on their intentions to play and their registration refund. We want to be responsive to the needs of our families in these challenging times.
We intend to survey the families to obtain these preferences. The survey will follow this email shortly.
These are our financial considerations:
- The league has already incurred significant operational expenses (separate from equipment and uniform type expenses) which are paid on an ongoing basis and cannot be carried over until next year. (Ex. Property and Liability Insurance $5500, Website $2700, Utilities to the City of surrey $2300 etc).
- In the event we do not play at all, some non operational expenses like equipment and uniform purchases already made will have to be carried on our books until next season.
- Managing the Covid risk will likely have significant additional costs. Ex. large quantities of sanitizer for the balls and equipment during every game, rental and cleaning costs if we are required to provide separate toilet facilities at each diamond, also possibly a paid staff person to full time clean and manage the covid related logistics for restriction of movement and facility use.
- Families will want to participate for a variety of start and end date preferences that may result in 2 sessions, summer and fall, with different registration costs.
- The league was intending to undergo significant capital improvements this year to upgrade our Little League indoor facility that is in dire need of repair externally and internally. We were intent on another successful batathon to make this possible. It is unlikely we will have a batathon this year, but some families may want us to proceed with this project using registration funds as a donation to the capital project whether we are able to return to baseball as we know it this year or not. If this is possible we would proceed with the renovations.
Depending on whether families choose to participate completely, partially, or not at all, will determine the percentage of registration refund. Families may also want to contribute to the capital project despite their participation preferences. These preferences will require flexibility on the refund options to best meet the needs of our members while at the same time paying the operational expenses for 2020.
Our Survey will gather individual preferences.