Play ball! It’s game on for baseball players in Cloverdale after the government moved sports into Phase 2. That means teams can play games within their association.
That also means more than 700 kids are now strapping on their game spikes in games all over Cloverdale diamonds.
“We’re just so thrilled,” said John Braaten, vice-president of the Cloverdale Minor Baseball Association. “And thrilled for both players and parents.”
Braaten said games are a welcome sight to all and the kids are exuding elation as some play games for the first time in almost two years. He said he’s seeing a lot of smiles.
“It’s absolutely a different feel around the park for sure.”
Braaten said they got the thumbs up from Baseball B.C. to play ball on May 25. That meant all associations around B.C. were able to play association games only. But there are still no games allowed against other ball clubs.
“We started playing in-house games May 29 and we’ve been going seven days a week ever since,” added Braaten.
He said each division has between seven to twelve teams, so each age group has multiple teams to compete against.
He said Phase 2 allows them to have games, but also to use dugouts and have baserunners, something that practicing at Phase 1 didn’t allow and also presented challenges.
Braaten said they’ve scheduled CMBA teams to play roughly 12 games each, but there won’t be any playoffs.
“We wanted players to get in as many games as possible, so we decided not to have any playoffs. That way some teams aren’t sitting out while others finish playoff games.”
Braaten said the next big announcement, centred on evolving return-to-play rules, from ViaSport will come down June 15.
“We expect they’ll announce that spectators will be allowed.”
He said it’s been a long hard road for all involved, especially the volunteers that run the association.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience,” said Braaten. “We are grateful to be playing games again and hopefully we’re back to normal again in 2022.”