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Western Canadian Baseball League delays season start to late June at earliest

Ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to push back league plans for 2020 campaign
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With the way things have been going on the COVID-19 front in Alberta and Saskatchewan, it seemed like only a matter of time before the Western Canadian Baseball League had to officially push the start of their season back.

That day officially came on Thursday, when the WCBL -- including the Moose Jaw Miller Express -- announced that the start of the 2020 season would be delayed until late June or early July at the earliest after a meeting of the league’s board of governors.

The move was made to give the league a chance to possibly play a shortened season should a dramatic improvement in the ongoing pandemic occur.

“Although the circumstances are not moving quickly enough at present in our favour, we want to look at all options in order to play this year,” WCBL president Kevin Kvame said in a press release, adding that even with a month of leeway, the late May start is now unfeasible.

“At the same time, however, we express that with ever-changing dynamic and circumstances on this pandemic and the measures needed to curtail it, we still want to maintain hope that a partial season can be played.”

That, of course, would rely on government go ahead though re-opening plans in both provinces.

“We know our talented players want to play and we know communities are looking for positive, family-friendly activities to return. We’re embracing that role, whenever the green light is turned on,” Kvame said.

The release touched on the possibility that games may be at only some ballparks depending on when and how things re-open and reiterated that any decisions that are made will be fully within provincial health authority guidelines.

“The health and safety of our players, coaches, officials and fans are paramount in all of our decision making,” said Kvame.

How a late-June, early-July schedule would play out has yet to be determined.

The WCBL also revealed that it is currently working on a project that will enable teams to continue to show their community pride when the games resume – a project with a sizable enough scope to involve federal, provincial and local governments as well as involvement from other industries.

Further information, including a potential league start date, will be coming as more details are released in the coming weeks.

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