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Diamond days ahead in St. John's

In this Sept. 22, 2019 file photo, Daniel Dalton of Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs is tagged out by 3Cheers Bud Light Dodgers second baseman Kyle Ezekiel during a St. John’s Molson senior men’s playoff game at Lions Park. With guidelines related to COVID-19 clarified for sports in the province finalized, the St. John’s softball league is set to start its 2020 season this week.
In this Sept. 22, 2019 file photo, Daniel Dalton of Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs is tagged out by 3Cheers Bud Light Dodgers second baseman Kyle Ezekiel during a St. John’s Molson senior men’s playoff game at Lions Park. With guidelines related to COVID-19 clarified for sports in the province finalized, the St. John’s softball league is set to start its 2020 season this week. — SaltWire NetWork file photo

St. John’s premier softball and baseball leagues are ready to swing away

With clarifications and revisions made to Alert Level 2 Sport Guidance documents in place, the way is clear for St. John’s senior and intermediate baseball and softball leagues to get their 2020 seasons underway.

According to a Sport Newfoundland and Labrador news release, the revised guidance states single games/matches between sports teams are allowed as long as the 50-person maximum-gathering rule is followed, along with all other public health guidelines.

However, tournaments, including provincial championships are not permitted.

“Even though they’re the same players,” said long-time St. John’s Molson senior and intermediate men’s softball secretary/treasurer Bill Barron, referring to the fact that for years, provincial men’s fastpitch championships have only involved teams from the St. John’s circuit.

Nevertheless, Barron will be looking forward to hearing “Play ball!” called out early this week, although he cautions the leagues, which play out of Lions Park, still require clearance from the City of St. John’s.

And as with most leagues this summer, there will be added costs as a result of COVID-19 guidelines.

Four teams are entered in the senior softball league (the Conception Bay Central Junior Canadians are not playing at the senior level as there are no junior nationals to prepare for this summer), and five teams are slated for the intermediate circuit.

At nearby St. Pat’s Ball Park, the St. John’s Amateur Baseball Association is poised to kick off its new season either this Saturday or, July 11.

Team practices have started, but the league still needs to conduct its draft.

The baseball loop is also facing rising costs, and the association is hampered by the fact there will be no canteen at St. Pat’s this summer.

The league is considering the idea of having the home-plate umpire, in the interest of social distancing, call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher’s mound.

Six teams each are entered in the senior league this summer. There are seven teams (Generals is the extra one) for intermediate play.

Twitter: @telyrobinshort


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