Baseball Ontario is pleased to be releasing to the baseball stakeholders in Ontario a draft Return to Baseball Protocol dated June 3, 2020 (the "Draft Protocol"). In the Draft Protocol, we look forward to the day when the Province of Ontario, municipal governments and public health authorities deem it safe for in-person baseball activities to resume in Ontario. Once finalized, the Draft Protocol will honour Baseball Ontario's promise to you to be ready for reopening as soon as it is allowed by government and health authorities.
At this stage, the Draft Protocol is only a draft and is not yet an approved, final document. Baseball Ontario is submitting the Draft Protocol for review by legal and medical advisors retained for that purpose. Baseball Ontario is also sending the Draft Protocol to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for its feedback. We strongly caution you that such reviews may lead to changes to the document before it is finally approved by Baseball Ontario's Board of Management. You will be advised of any changes made to the Draft Protocol and once finally adopted by Baseball Ontario's Board of Management through announcements in Baseball Ontario's Inside Pitch and Baseball Ontario's social media channels and in postings on the Baseball Ontario website
If the Draft Protocol is not yet finalized, why is Baseball Ontario releasing it at this time? Simply put, all of our Member Organizations (as defined in the Draft Protocol) will need to begin conducting their own reviews of the Draft Protocol so that each is ready for how it deems best to proceed with baseball for the 2020 season and beyond.
Some of our Member Organizations have expressed a hope and a desire that some baseball activities can occur in 2020. Baseball Ontario shares your hopes. The Draft Protocol is intended as a tool to allow you to move forward with the necessary preconditions to achieve those objectives once permission is granted from government and health authorities. Through the Draft Protocol you can start to see what reopening might look like.
Others of our Member Organizations have already made decisions to cancel all or part of their baseball operations for 2020. Baseball Ontario understands those decisions and supports your decision to do so. Nothing in the Draft Protocol requires a Member Organization to operate in-person baseball activities until it feels that it is safe and appropriate to do so.
As previously announced, Baseball Ontario has suspended all in-person baseball activities until June 15, 2020. Further, the Province of Ontario in its emergency orders still prohibit team sport activities. On June 11, the Board of Management will be meeting to consider what to do with the suspension: whether to lift it or extend it.
At the same meeting, the Board of Management anticipates finalizing the Return to Baseball Protocol. Between now and June 11, Baseball Ontario will be working on preparing documentation and education tools for its Member Organizations so that they can inform their players/parent, coaches, umpires and volunteers of the requirements and expectations involved in returning to baseball in a COVID-19 world.
Baseball Ontario remains committed to you that we will be ready for the return to baseball whenever it may be permitted.
Link to the Draft Protocol: