Baseball is set to start the 2020-21 season on time, despite the absence of clearcut advice on COVID-19 restrictions regarding crowd sizes and social distancing.
Canberra Cavalry director Dan Amodio says the Cavalry will be ensuring that the 2020-21 season accommodates the requirements of a post-COVID-19 world.
“We have yet to finalise all the details,” said Mr Amodio, “but our best possible scenario is that we’ll be back and ready for the fans when the season opens, including filling the grandstands with fans.
“If we need to adjust seating or catering to ensure we meet the COVID-19 restrictions when the season opens, we’ll be doing that to make sure our fans and players are safe,” he said.
“There are still a lot of questions to be answered. We’re looking forward to working with the ACT Government on solutions for crowd sizes and international players … of course, all with the safety of our staff, players, members, and fans as priority number one.”
The Canberra Cavs will be releasing a practice schedule in mid-October, with the season opener scheduled for mid-November, Mr Amodio said.
“We’re evaluating a few different options around the schedule, the length of games, and the configuration of the ballpark in order to make the numbers work,” he said.
“I think we’re all looking forward to things getting back to normal, but we have to get there as responsibly as possible.”
Baseball Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale says he is confident the 2020-21 Australian Baseball League season will go ahead as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease across Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Vale hoped the season would be as close to normal as possible but said the clubs understood they may need to make some compromises. He said the league also remained hopeful fans would be able to attend games during the 2020/21 season but could not make any promises.
“We’ve been heartened by the return of other sports and discussions around fans being able to attend so we’ll continue to monitor the situation and cross our fingers it will be possible.”
All eight clubs have signalled they intend to compete this year. Owners have been convening weekly video conferences to plan for the league’s 11th season since April to discuss the impact of COVID-19. Mr Vale said planning was moving forward and the next two months would play a pivotal role in decision making ahead of a likely schedule release in the second week of August.
“The next couple of months should present a clearer picture of how those restrictions will affect our season, but in the meantime, we’re planning for a number of scenarios so all eight teams can compete,” said Mr Vale.