Don’t pack away your glove and bat just yet!
Orillia Slo-Pitch League President Mike Borrelli is hopeful of getting local ballplayers back on the diamond this summer after the provincial government announced that recreational team sports competitions are allowed to continue with some restrictions.
Borrelli is determined to organize a slo-pitch tournament within the next two to three weeks, and hopes to hold tournaments every second weekend until the end of September.
“The demand is there from the avid adult athlete, and I have backing from Slo-Pitch National to get these tournaments insured,” Borrelli said.
Borrelli’s next hurdle comes in the form of a decree from the City of Orillia two weeks ago. A press releasse noted: “Rental permits for baseball diamonds will not be issued for the 2020 season.”
Borrelli says he has been in constant contact with Recreation Policy and Permitting Supervisor Seanne Goodfellow to try and get the city to make an exception.
Goodfellow says Borrelli’s request is under review.
“At this point, we are looking at Stage 3 reopening documents and submitting suggestions to the Emergency Management Committee, but nothing has come back yet,” she said.
The EMC, during a state of emergency, is the body that makes decisions related to such issues.
Borrelli is adamant that if the city allowed slo-pitch to be played this summer, players, umpires and fans would be kept safe.
“What we would be doing would be safer than what I’ve seen at overcrowded beaches and it would be safer than going to sit down at a bar,” he vowed.
Some safety protocols that Borrelli is considering implementing for slo-pitch games include not allowing players from outside of the Orillia area to participate, hiring someone to take players' temperatures, providing each team with a basket of balls for fielding, and providing sanitizer to each team so they can wipe down bats and balls.
“We want everyone to have the confidence to feel safe and sign a waiver to play,” he said.