Vernon’s Okanagan Spring Baseball League is preparing for some semblance of a 2020 season. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon beer baseball league starts season preparations

Okanagan Spring League holding practices while awaiting competition approval

Vernon’s Okanagan Spring Baseball League is conducting its own version of summer camp.

The loop is currently holding practices and awaiting competition approval from Baseball BC and Viasport.

“We have a robust return-to-play COVID safety plan, which involves sanitizing hands, equipment, and even baseballs,” said league spokesperson Geoff Cleaveley. “We also use verbal symptom screening and reminders of our policies before each session. We track attendance to ensure there can be effective contact tracing should we run into the worst-case scenario of an outbreak within our association.”

Baseball in these circumstances of a pandemic, said Cleaveley, is a game that can be played with no prolonged close contact.

“We have a slide-or-avoid rule on the basepaths to ensure we don’t have any collisions, and while there may be brief instances of close contact, they will be limited to situations like a base runner running past an infielder,” he said.

Players are needed to fill up roster spots and the OSBL is planning on salvaging perhaps a nine-game season in the near future.

“Potential players should have fundamental skills, like throwing, catching, and hitting, but I’d describe the league as rec-competitive – we like to have fun, but also like playing decent baseball,” said Cleaveley. “We’re happy we were able to continue our sponsorship this season with Okanagan Spring. They’re a great organization to work with, and are doing a terrific job of supporting our little local baseball league.”

The league expanded to four teams this year with the addition of a Kelowna squad.

“It may mean some challenges ensuring we have enough field time, but that is a great problem to have,” said Cleaveley. “We are doing what we can to keep baseball alive in Vernon.

“We have a great executive team who have kept the wheels turning on this season throughout the pandemic, with the hope of being just where we are now – planning a season to get our players back on the field.”

People can message the league on Facebook (Okanagan Spring Baseball League) or email (vernonmensbaseball@hotmail.com) for more information.

READ MORE: Vernon beer baseball league expanding

READ MORE: Boe’s blast boosts Blue Ribbons to Vernon beer league baseball title



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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