Sports groups unite in quest for answers from provincial government

June 10, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Brian LockhartThe baseball diamonds are not hearing the crack of the bat, softball leagues are on the sidelines, soccer pitches remain empty, and on cricket fields you can literally hear the crickets chirping because it’s so quiet.

Organizers from those outdoor sports are banding together and requesting information and some answers from the provincial government.

“A group of outdoor sports – we got together and it was remarkable that all of our challenges and frustration, extreme frustration, were being ignored. We’re not being answered, no one is giving us any direction and we are the provincial sport organization,” said Baseball Ontario president, Ed Quinlan, on a radio talk show about the uncertainty of how sports organizations should proceed with putting together games and league play. 

“We got a response from the premier’s office yesterday morning (June 1) basically saying this has been turned over to Minister MacLeod (minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture) and her office has been asked to respond – we have still not received a response as of this morning.”

Mr. Quinlan said they have sent previous letters to the government as well as having a petition from baseball families, and did not receive a response from the government.

The organizations represent ‘up to one million’ participants in the province.

These sports groups want to get kids back out on the athletic fields in an outdoor environment that have been deemed safe by “doctors and science advisory people.”

Since the rules have not been updated for how many people will be allowed to participate in a sport at a given time, sports groups can’t plan ahead to make teams, schedules, or playing rules.

Further frustrating the effort is since there is no registration taking place, leagues and organizers have no idea how many will sign up for a sport or how many needed volunteers they will have to coach and run games.

Putting things into perspective with current rules about gatherings – a baseball diamond is larger than 80,000 square feet. If it were an indoor facility like a grocery store, a place that large would be allowed to have 900 people, and yet when the province goes to step one of reopening, a field that size will only be allowed to have ten people on the field.

It is a frustrating time for organizers of sports in the province.

With time running out, if they don’t get some answers soon, another full summer season may be lost.

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