For the first time in months, the White Rock Tritons will play baseball games this weekend.
Who they’ll be playing against, however, is still up in the air.
Kyle Dhanani, the general manager of the Tritons junior program – which includes bantam (U15), junior (U16) and senior (U18) teams – said that the BC Premier Baseball League and its member teams anticipated that good news would come from Tuesday’s announcement by the provincial government regarding a COVID-19 restart plan, and began planning accordingly, so teams would be able to play games immediately.
However, viaSport and Baseball BC followed up that announcement by saying that local games meant games within each individual organization, and that games between different associations – even within the same city – were still prohibited.
“It was quite disappointing,” Dhanani said Thursday.
The announcement that games could not be played between organizations was disappointing to those beyond the ball diamond, too. On Wednesday, Coastal FC executive director Chris Murphy told PAN that the clarification “gutted people” in the local soccer community, and he suggested improved communication was necessary.
Dhanani was still hopeful that the issue could be worked out by the weekend, noting that Baseball BC executive director David Liang was working with viaSport.
“He went to bat for the PBL and said, look, these guys play at a higher level and they don’t have another local team to play against,” Dhanani said, adding that the club-only rules wouldn’t affect younger age divisions in an association as large as White Rock-South Surrey Baseball because there are plenty of teams in each age bracket.
“You can only play against your younger teammates so much. The kids wants to play against their peers, they want to play against somebody else. (Liang) told us to give him a couple days to hopefully iron it all out.”
While Dhanani said a schedule of games against other teams is set for both Saturday and Sunday, if those games are not allowed to go ahead, the Tritons will play against each other in an intra-squad game, highlighted by a juniors versus seniors battle Sunday morning.
“Our whole league is just itching to play. As soon as they give us the word, we’re ready to go.” he said.
“We’re just a text or call away away from getting this started. We’ll sign some permits, let people know, and whether it’s this weekend, or Monday night, or whenever, it’ll be game on and we’ll fire it up.”