In Phase 4 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan, baseball was included to return to play on July 6th. The Sask Five Giants baseball teams play in the City of Saskatoon league; however, this baseball season looks much different from others due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In previous years, the season would typically start in April with an evaluation process. Once the teams are made up, league play starts in the beginning of May until the end of June. “Some teams play a few weeks in July and if they make playoffs, they attend provincial tournaments,” said Vice-President Brian Hubbard.
With the re-open phase, the government allowed return to train (practice) on June 22. “It took us a few days to have diamonds released by the City of Martensville and to get our teams organized. Teams were given the green light to practice a few days later.”
According to Hubbard, there were no rule changes in game play due to COVID-19; however, there have been guidelines put in place such as; social distancing on benches, no team group meetings before, during or after games, no gum /sunflower seeds, as well as various hygiene protocols with players and equipment. There will also be limited amount of spectator’s permitted.
Typically the association has around 300 players participating in the league, but due to COVID-19, the numbers are down to 65. “Due to the late season and summer schedule commitments, we are down to two – 11U AA teams, one – 13U AA team, one – 15U AA team and one 18U AAA team,” stated Hubbard. The U9 Rally cap program that runs each year had to be cancelled due to low interest and lack of coaches and a few of the kids born in 2011 were invited to join the U11 teams.
The season will run until August 20th and then league playoffs will start. There will be no Sask Baseball Provincial tournaments this season.
Schedules for games can be found on the baseball Saskatoon website. https://www.baseballsaskatoon.com/schedule-results.