Focus shifts towards Provincial/Territorial and Regional Play
Ottawa, Ont. – After carefully considering the health and safety of its members and consulting with its Provincial/Territorial Associations, Softball Canada’s Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel all of its Canadian Fast Pitch and Slo-Pitch Championships for a second consecutive year in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Softball Canada annually hosts a total of ten Canadian Championships which were scheduled to be held across eight different provinces between late July and September this year. Softball Newfoundland and Labrador had previously relinquished its rights to hosting the U19 Men’s, Men’s and Master Men’s Canadian Championships last month.
“Cancelling the Canadian Championship for a second consecutive year was a decision we did not take lightly and we share in the disappointment of the athletes who were looking forward to competing for a national title” stated Scott Neiles, President of Softball Canada. “With the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became increasingly apparent that the health risks and travel restrictions would not allow for proper representation from across the country. Our focus has now shifted towards supporting regional events to give athletes an opportunity to compete outside of local league play if public health and safety conditions allow.”
With the hope that the Atlantic bubble will allow inter-provincial travel amongst Atlantic Canada once again later this summer, Softball Canada has partnered and is finalizing plans with the Atlantic Provincial Softball Associations (NB, NL, NS and PEI) to bring a number of regional events this summer that will be aimed at the provincial team level. Although the Canadian Championships will not be played, this avenue will create an outstanding opportunity for provincial teams from Atlantic Canada to compete at a unique high-level competition. Further information on the format, costs, registration, etc. will be available in the near future. The following dates and locations have been secured for the Atlantic Canadian Championships:
|U14 Girl’s||August 12-15||Newfoundland & Labrador|
|U14 Boy’s and U16 Boy’s||August 12-15||Fredericton, N.B.|
|U16 Girl’s||August 12-15||Prince Edward Island|
|U19 Women’s||August 5-8||Nova Scotia|
|U19 Men’s||August 5-8||Carbonear, N.L.|
|Women’s||August 19-22||Prince Edward Island|
|U23 Men’s and Men’s||TBD||Newfoundland & Labrador|
The remaining Provincial Associations will be looking at the possibility of creating similar opportunities for regional play between neighboring provinces providing public health and safety restrictions will allow them to take place.
Currently, all Provincial and Territorial Associations are working towards a safe return to play in their respective areas with the hope of league play, tournaments and provincial/territorial level tournaments. Softball Canada looks forward to continuing to work with its Provincial/Territorial Associations to support play and to assist with potential regional competition opportunities this summer.