Thompson’s Merchant Media Slo Pitch League is ready to play ball beginning June 22, with a few changes due to physical distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are 18 teams in the co-ed league, which requires a minimum of three female players on the field at all times and plays games Mondays to Thursdays at the Thompson Regional Community Centre diamonds and other baseball diamonds around town.
Unlike previous years, only one game per field will be scheduled each night to avoid the potential for having more people gathered in one area outdoors than the maximum of 100 allowed under phase three of Manitoba’s reopening plan.
There also a number of new COVID-19 related requirements, including a new section on the waiver that all players must sign before starting play releasing the league from liability for anyone contracting any infectious disease as a result of their participation. Teams must also bring disinfecting wipes and balls for their own team to use while fielding. Players will not be allowed in the dugout area except for the next two batters in the batting order and any items such as poles or benches that players might touch have to be wiped down before and after each game. No bases coaches will be permitted, pre- and post-game handshakes are forbidden and scoresheets will not be shared between teams. Teams will have to email photos of the scoresheets to the league within 24 hours of a game being completed.
The season will run until the end of August, and new teams can register up until June 30 by contacting league president Katrina Anderson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested players who don’t have enough members to form a team are encouraged to join the Merchant Media Facebook group, as teams often post there looking for additional players.