Pandemic starting to affect summer sports

Baseball Canada will suspend all activate until at least April 30.

The Spruce Grove Cougars downed the West Edmonton Raiders 60-6 in Capital District Minor Football League Action this past weekend. Photo by Josh Thomas. Reporter/Examiner staff jpg, SB

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Hurry up and wait.

That is all minor sports organizations across the Tri-Region can do as they hold on to the hope of avoiding a lost season.

The Spruce Grove Soccer Association, Spruce Grove and District Minor Football Association, Stony Plain Minor Football Association, and Parkland Twins seasons are all in question due to the decision to suspend all play made by their respective governing bodies.

“At this time Football Alberta declares a suspension of practise or play of any football activity until further notice given the severity of this pandemic,” Football Alberta president Bryan Brandford said. “All Members should be aware that Football Alberta’s insurance carrier has confirmed that any claims made during this time frame where activity is suspended would be declined. Therefore all activities should be paused.”

Baseball Canada will suspend all activate until at least April 30, directly affecting the lead up to the Parkland Twins season. The provincial authority also moved to postpone or cancel all major training events scheduled across the country throughout April.

House league and competitive seasons are both up in the air, and the provincial authority has put out a notice to all organizations to look at their budgets in an effort to identify opportunities to reduce costs.

Already this has lead to the cancellation of the 2020 facility grant program.

“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,” Baseball Alberta said in a release. “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.”

Canada Soccer is no different. They have suspended all sanctioned soccer activities. This affects national teams across all age groups and domestic soccer activities. All coaching courses and any referee programming has been postponed until at least the end of April and no in-person Board or Committee meetings will be held.

This means the Spruce Grove Soccer season will not start on time and could face the possibility of cancellation.

“Given the extraordinary nature of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and after close dialogue with our membership and public health authorities, Canada Soccer has taken the necessary decision to suspend all domestic soccer activity as well as National Team programming to ensure the well being of all involved,” said Canada Soccer President Steven Reed.

For now, the situation for local minor sport organizations who operate in the summer remains completely up in the air. Players will have to wait for a return to normalcy before they can think about the possibility of modified seasons. In the meantime, organizations across the region are being instructed to hurry up and wait.