By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Like many sports organizations right now, Baseball Oshawa is in a “holding pattern,” but President Ken Babcock is confident “something will happen” soon.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still forcing social restrictions around the world, Babcock tells The Oshawa Express that Baseball Oshawa is looking to Baseball Ontario for guidance.
“Our position… will follow Baseball Ontario’s current stance,” says Babcock.
Currently, Baseball Ontario is telling leagues all in-person baseball programs are suspended until June 15.
However, there is still hope for a season, according to Babcock, as the provincial government recently announced batting cages are open to the public.
With this news, Babcock is hopeful preparations can begin to proceed with the season soon.
He explains Baseball Oshawa is expecting to receive news by June 15 to potentially begin the season on July 1, and also notes Baseball Ontario has looked at extending some seasons into the fall.
“We’re confident that something will happen,” he says.
Babcock explains house league and rep teams face a different set of problems. House league needs eight to 10 weeks to have a full season, and rep teams face more financial issues.
“The problem is a lot of organizations have made purchases for the upcoming season,” says Babcock, adding if there is no season, there will be refunds.
He says if there is no season for house league, the organization is “on the hook” for expenses such as jerseys and equipment, as everything has already been purchased. For rep teams, while a lot of the gear is purchased by players’ families, a lot of purchases have been made by the organization as well.
Babcock says because of this, refunds will be “tricky.”
“There is some relative ability to refund, but we’re really hoping that things get better not just for baseball, but for everyone,” says Babcock.
However, in the end, Babcock says if there is to be a season, it needs to “check all the boxes” put in place by the provincial government and public health.
“If the government says it’s okay… we’re going to trust the government,” he says.