Eterhazy minor ball hoping for a season in 2021

·3 min read

President of Esterhazy Minor Ball, Neil Hungle, is approaching the potential 2021 season cautiously.

With restrictions still in place, Hungle says the organization will open up registration but are unsure if kids will be able to play.

“We were hoping there would have already been another announcement that maybe would shed a bit of light on what the season would look like,” said Hungle. “But unfortunately they extended it into mid-March. We will proceed with registration but we still don’t know for sure if there will be a season.”

Like other teams and organizations, Esterhazy Minor Ball will be following the guidelines put out by the Saskatchewan Baseball Association.

Hungle says there are new guidelines that will be released for them to follow.

“The Saskatchewan Baseball Association has outlined all those guidelines, so we’re just waiting for that to get published with the new rules. We would follow all of those restrictions and guidelines put out from the SBA, which includes social distancing and masks if they are required. We would make sure that is communicated. We would just replicate what SBA has put forward and use our website and Facebook to communicate that.”

He says that with the new guidelines, they have had to expand their coaching tools to cover COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have a coach’s guideline that we make. It’s just a couple of pages that we provide to our coaches and before COVID it was really just the basis of coaching and some tips on how to have a successful season, but now we include the COVID protocols in the package we give them.”

Even with the 2020 season being restricted and cut short, Hungle says their losses were minimal thanks to help from the community and the Saskatchewan Baseball Association.

“We typically try to break even. We set up our registration to break even and cover some of the baseball costs and the consumable items throughout the season. Yeah sometimes we lose a little bit on commission and stuff like that, but overall I think we’re going to be okay. We didn’t incur any umpire costs to train our folks, we didn’t incur any operating costs because the town and regional park didn’t charge us anything. So we’re going to be okay. We might have lost a couple of hundred dollars, but it’s fairly minor. We’re lucky in that way in a smaller community with the partnerships we’ve built with the regional park and the town and even our local bank. Even with the SBA, there was a banking fee for having to send the money back to our past registrants, and they waived that as well. That was really good of them to do that. Financially we did okay, no real big hits there.”

Hungle adds that they are hoping the restricted 2020 season does not affect the number of registrations for their 2021 season.

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator