April 20, 2020
RE: 2020 Canadian Fastpitch Championships & 2020 Eastern Canadian Softball Championships
Due to the ongoing situation with respect to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the uncertainty moving forward through this unprecedented time and uncharted territory, Softball NL has expressed concerns surrounding the overall health and safety issues with respect to hosting and/or attending major softball events, such as the 2020 Canadian Fastpitch Championships and the 2020 Eastern Canadian Softball Championships – which gathers athletes, coaches, umpires and spectators from across Canada.
As a result, Softball NL would like to take this opportunity to advise its membership that due to the current climate and taking many factors into consideration, that Softball NL has made the difficult decision to cancel its hosting rights for the 2020 Men’s & Master Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championship scheduled for St. John’s, NL (September 2-6), the 2020 U19 Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championship scheduled for Carbonear, NL (August 11-16) and the 2020 U16 Girl’s Eastern Canadian Softball Championship scheduled to be held in the Province from August 27-30. As well, Softball NL has also made the decision to not send teams and officials to the 2020 Canadian Fastpitch Championships and the 2020 Eastern Canadian Softball Championships, at any level. Softball NL reserves the right to revisit this decision if and when the current climate changes and new information is presented.
The Softball NL Board of Directors expressed overall disappointment that these decisions had to be made, but collectively understood, agreed with and supported the decision because it is the responsible decision as health and safety is paramount. It was agreed that there are too many unknown factors at this stage. Further to that, there are too many questions surrounding travel restrictions, social/physical distancing, fundraising abilities and sponsorship opportunities.
Nationally, it is also unknown what the directive will be from the Government of Canada and Health Ministry with respect to permissible activities this summer. Focusing on the science, as general observers, it appears that without a vaccine that has not only been tested, but approved – which could take 12 to 18 months – it seems that social and physical distancing will be in effect until such time, in what form is another unanswered question.
Softball NL’s partners in these events; including local business, various government levels and the community as a whole are facing the same uncertainties and unknowns, which would make the organization of these tournaments extremely difficult. Unfortunately, the timing and answers to these uncertainties are not finite; therefore not allowing the proper preparation and organization that such events deserve.
From a Host Committee viewpoint, health and safety is paramount, but financial concerns are a reality. Due to expected social and physical distancing there will be a major financial hardship when it comes to ticket sales, attendance and sponsorship opportunities. With travel restrictions in place, it is not reasonable to expect players and coaches to have to travel or arrive 14 days prior to the event in order to self-isolate. The overall economics of hosting and attending Canadian Fastpitch Championships or Eastern Canadian Softball Championships is not viable in 2020.
Softball NL believes wholeheartedly that this is the right decision. Softball NL has secured the right to Host the Men’s & Master Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championship and the U19 Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championship in 2021. As a result, focus and energy will now shift on developing a Softball Model for this summer, which given the opportunity will meet Federal, Provincial and Territorial restrictions so all athletes, coaches, umpires, and supporters can continue to be involved, at least in some organized form, with the game we all love.
Softball NL would like to thank its entire membership & sponsors for your support and understanding.
Yours in Softball,
Softball NL President
1296A Kenmount Road
Paradise, NL A1L 1N3