Playing softball deep into August, and possibly into September, is definitely unusual, but this is an unusual year.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, very few local baseball or softball teams have been able to take to the diamond. But one team found a way to make it happen.
The Duncan Junior Baseball and Softball Association made the difficult decision to cancel the spring season, but one U16 girls team from Duncan has been able to return to action this summer, playing in a league in Langford.
“It was a long spring with so many possibilities up in the air,” said Darrin St. Amand, who coaches the team along with Brad Scafe. “Softball BC did an excellent job working with VIA Sport to get a Return To Play plan together. It was then up to each organization to determine if they could fulfill the RTP. DJBA executive decided under the circumstances to cancel the spring season.”
The U16 girls, many of whom moved up from U14 last year, were expecting to have a strong season, and were disappointed when it was cancelled.
“Once DJBA decided to cancel the spring season I could not let the season go to waste,” St. Amand said. “I put a request in to Langford to host our team this season as their executive developed their own RTP plan that was approved. They were happy to have us. Eleven of 12 players still wanted to play ball. Typically our season ends near the end of July. This year started in early July and will continue into September.”
The season started with a couple of weeks of practicing at Waldon Park in Glenora and enforcing the RTP plan, followed by a week of in-house exhibition games. In late July, they were approved for games against neighbouring associations.
“The girls have done a great job adhering to the RTP guidelines and have been thrilled to get back to something close to reality,” St. Amand said. “Although the season looks much different than what we typically have had, the current situation is the best that could be expected. Unfortunately there will not be any year-end provincials and possibly no tournaments at all, but we have to consider this a win-win season. The girls get some kind of normalcy and are enjoying the chance to get on the field.”