Kipling minor ball hoping to be able to run full season

·3 min read

Kipling Minor Ball is moving forward cautiously, waiting to see what restrictions change and if the organization are able to host a full season of ball after the 2020 season was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

President of Kipling Baseball, James Gallagher, says the organization is hoping to make a decision on registration by the end of the month.

“We haven’t set any registration dates or anything quite yet. We’re still waiting to hear more guidelines from the government as to what it’s going to be looking like. We did get an email from Sask. Baseball outlining their return-to-play guidelines last week and hopefully by the end of this month we can figure out what we’re doing for registration and what that’s going to look like,” said Gallagher.

While cautiously optimistic, Gallagher says he would be happy to just be able to practice with a full team.

“Now that the guidelines are changing again to allow bigger groups indoors, hopefully, we would be able to have our regular baseball practice with the full team. That is what we can hope for at the minimum. That way we can still practice with the kids and do simulated games with them and just have them out there doing something to keep them busy and active.”

With their 2020 season being cut short, Gallagher noted the biggest impact was on their softball team, but other teams were still able to play.

“The biggest impact we saw last year was in our softball teams. There were not enough towns at all going forward with the girl’s program, so even though we had enough for a couple of age groups there was no one to really go and play against. On the baseball side of stuff, we managed to have age groups in the U11, U13, and U15, and some kids even went to Wawota for some U18 practicing. The other groups did manage to play some exhibition games because it wasn’t a league.”

Due to being unable to host their usual fundraising tournament, Gallagher says they took a loss in the 2020 season.

He notes that with reduced costs elsewhere, they were able to minimize losses.

“Just like any other organization, we were hit by the impacts of the pandemic. We’re blessed to be part of the Bobby Vargo Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament each year. A big chunk of the money raised from that goes back into minor ball and minor ball puts money back into the ball grounds in the town, like updating fences, painting, and putting shale on the diamonds. Last year they were unable to host that tournament so that was a big revenue loss for us. But with limited costs, we just pushed back our plan to have everything done for another year.”

With a potential late start to the season, Gallagher says they are hoping to at least get the players on the field.

“Hopefully we will be able to get out there and play but I’m assuming it will be a bit of a later start to the season but I hope everything comes around and we get the go-ahead from the government. Hopefully, we can get the kids out there and play some games.”

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