Slo-Pitch National – Covid-19 Update – June 15, 2020
Our country is slowly emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic which has prevented our organization from returning to our much loved game. Some provinces have now started weekly league play, implementing necessary and important guidelines to address the new normal that we are all facing coming out of a global pandemic, these plans and actions are paving the way for neighboring provinces who will be returning to play soon, by sharing successes and challenges.
In the midst of returning to play, there are several important questions that our members continue to ask and it is our intent to answer some of these for you with these communications.
Insurance Coverage provided to all Slo-Pitch National DOES NOT contain Contagion exclusion (in this case Covid-19). The Slo-Pitch National online waiver form that all members must agree to does have a new Covid-19 clause that members acknowledge that there is some inherent risk they assume when returning to play post pandemic.
Liability Insurance Coverage is in place to cover all members (including league executive and event organizers) in the event that they should be sued in a matter related to COVID-19. Insurance Coverage will be provided to member leagues and event organizers after a Return to Play Plan has been reviewed by Slo-Pitch National. Certificates of Insurance will be issued upon completing the necessary steps outlined at www.slo-pitch.com
All 2020 members must agree to the updated online waiver form. All participants must create an online account to be eligible to play in any Slo-Pitch National sanctioned activity, this includes, players, coaches, managers, conveners, league executive members and umpires. To register or login in to accept the updated waiver, please click here!
The role of the umpire is to enforce the rules of the game, and that role will not change upon return. Umpires take direction from the Leagues and Event Organizers that hire and assign them to games. Umpire groups will need to work with Leagues and Event Organizers to establish any necessary modifications to the umpire role, however, Slo-Pitch National has instructed all of our member leagues and event organizers that Umpire’s shall not be COVID police, and these groups should determine the necessary steps to enforce rules related to social distancing limiting the umpire’s involvement. The full list of return to play suggestions for umpires is available here.
As of this time, there are no events scheduled in the coming weeks, as Provinces are not yet ready for organized events. As the restrictions are lifted and events are offered, these will be published on our Slo-Pitch National Calendar.
Our members should be very aware that returning to play in events that are operating without permission of the municipal governments hinders the progression of being able to return to play sooner rather than later for everyone. Many cities across Canada who have not reopened parks but are witnessing groups and events being run without permission are concerned, and some have cancelled returning to play all together. We understand that players are eager to return to play, but please wait until your provincial gathering numbers allow for events to be organized before you decide to take part in these activities.
Organizers are working with hosting cities to determine whether or not Provincial Championships will be able to take place in 2020. Many championships take place in August or September across Canada, but these events will in all likelihood be a little different in 2020. Some regions may have to shift hosting cities, dates, modify divisions etc. in order to be operational this season. Please know that Slo-Pitch National organizers are considering all options and working on all possibilities ahead of making final decisions about these championships. Our decisions regarding cancellation are not made lightly, but in the event that we do need to cancel provincial championships in any region this season, communication regarding this will be done on our regional provincial championship websites. All Provincial Championships will be open events this year (meaning teams do not have to qualify to attend). Organizing Provincial Championships takes several weeks or months depending on the size of the events, and organizers will be providing regular updates to teams in the coming weeks. The ability to host these championships will be based on the provincial gathering numbers in effect at the time of the championships and other mandates set forth by Provincial and local governments.
Thank you to all of our members who are front line workers and who have assisted all Canadians during this pandemic. Thank you to the league organizers who have planned and replanned and then replanned again and again to try and make a season happen for their league participants, we know this has been challenging and exhausting for you, but we are grateful on behalf of all of your teams and players for the efforts you have put forth.
To the players who we are hopeful to see soon at the diamonds, thank you for hanging in there! We know you have missed the game and the fellowship a lot! We know that when it is time to return to play you will be respectful of the necessary rules that will allow for us to return, and you will take the opportunity to thank your league and event organizers who have worked so tirelessly to make playing possible, please take a moment to express your gratitude.
Upon returning to play, we hope that players will do so with a new outlook and appreciation for the game of slo-pitch and the enjoyment that is derived from it. We are looking forward to seeing you all very soon.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Regional Director or National Office at 416-674-1802 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.