Season Update #1
Date: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:46 am
Topic: Burlington Oldtimers Slo-Pitch News
Greetings Fellow BOSL Members,
As you may have already expected, the recent “Emergency Brake” shutdown in Ontario is going to have an affect our ability to get out on to the ball diamonds. How significant an affect? We just don’t know at this time. It was looking very promising that a May 3rd start was a possibility but with the recent variants causing a third, and in some cases fourth wave, we are not as optimistic anymore. I’m not sure that the Ontario Health department is going to allow sports back to scrimmaging and playing after the 4 week shutdown is over but we’ll have to wait and see. Vaccine roll out is picking up the pace so maybe things will look a bit different in the next month. The situation is definitely going to be fluid the next 2 months.
So saying that, the Board of Directors is moving forward as if the season is going to start. When that date is, we don’t know yet, but barring a catastrophe we are going to start the season this year. Even if it’s only 2 months.
So what are we doing in the mean time?
We’re meeting virtually this week with the City along with all of the other Diamond Users. We’re hoping to get some better guidelines on what back to play requirements look like.
We are communicating with the City on the appropriate park booking policies to allow for cancellations based on the regional status of play.
We’re looking to connect with Slo-Pitch Ontario to find out what they are hearing through their meetings with the Ministry of Health.
All of the vacant Captain positions have been filled.
The Membership committee is working diligently on replacement players for those that have withdrawn. The goal is to replace like for like and to keep as much parity as possible.
Target roster number at this point is 13 players just in case we’re held to the 25 player limit on the diamond.
Umpires are being lined up for the season start.
Jerseys are being handed out to Captains to be ready for when we get the Okay.
I feel I need to repeat, we are playing a regular season this year regardless of start date. If the start date moves to sometime in the summer, we will look at extending the year through September. We may not get a 19 week season in like we normally do but we will get a season in. If we lose too many players to field a 16 team league, we will play with whatever we have when we start. The message to everyone is that we have to be ready to pull the trigger as soon as we get the okay to start.
After my previous update I received quite a few questions:
Will we be getting a refund with the cancelled tournaments and the change in SPO Membership?
For clarity, tournaments are self-funded through beer sales. Membership fees or league resources only go to supporting tournaments if we don’t sell enough to cover the cost of the tournament (not surprisingly, this rarely happens)
The portion of your membership fees that covered SPO membership is $6.67. The effort and cost in refunding this amount to every member would be as much as the refund.
An additional note for everyone to understand, since we only broke even for last year’s Fall Ball play, the league basically paid out $8500 in 2020 with no revenue (fees). These are expenses such as auditing fees, storage, web site costs, etc. which have to be paid whether we play a game or not. This $8500 in 2020 came directly out of the league reserves which we need to have to protect itself against unforeseen situations, like COVID. For the health of our league we need to replenish the reserves as soon as we get back to normal.
If we only play half a season will we get a refund for games that will be missed?
Depending on when we start, the Board of Directors will need to decide on the best way to manage this situation. We understand that some of our members may be out of work and we will make every effort to do what’s right. As we did at the beginning of last year, we let people take refunds or we gave them the option to take a credit for the following year’s fee. This will definitely be an option if we get to that situation. If the time missed is not too significant we can also decide to contribute this amount to our charity, The Burlington Foodbank.
A decision will be made once the season starts and if refunds are in order we will look at a “per game” lost solution.
Will the 2022 fees be re-assed with the change in SPO membership?
Yes, the membership fees are assessed every year under normal circumstances. I feel the need to share with everyone that some of our expenses have increased over the last few years and we have not raised membership fees.
If we play this year, will the COVID protocols be like Fall Ball last year?
We do not have guidelines yet from the City or SPO on return to play protocols but we should expect there to be something. I don’t see us back to normal in 2021 and maybe not even 2022. These protocols will be in place for all of our safety but I am expecting things to be less restrictive than last year given that we had no cases during our play.
Some of the protocols last year were put in place to speed up play. Time limits were reduced by 15 minutes so there was buffer between games. I believe that this will not be a requirement this year so some of the protocols will be eliminated with this.
We will have umpires this year which will make a difference.
I understand that some of the rule changes last year were not ideal but the chance to actually play ball is the key for the league.
Are the captains going to be part of the discussion on the COVID protocols being submitted to the City?
Since we anticipate very little time between the approval to play and the start date, we will not be able to get everyone's input on how to run this season. The Board of Directors is voted in by the membership to make certain decisions, under difficult circumstances, like COVID. We just won’t have time to run everything by the captains.
I’m having an issue with my login for SPO, what is my username, password or security question?
The league does not have any of this information. Your username should be your e-mail address that the league had from your registration 2 or 3 years ago. If you are new player to BOSL you should create one.
If you are having problems you should contact SPO directly either through the Contact Us section on their web page or by phone: 905-646-7773
What does SPO Membership really get me?
Each registered player will have access to the SPO mobile app which is essentially to your membership card and the benefits associated. For example, equipment discounts.
Insurance coverage for any SPO tournament or league you play in. This is extremely important since the league will not carry insurance for the membership any longer.
As more information comes up, I will update everyone.
I hope everyone stays safe and looking forward to seeing all of you soon.