By Cole Parkinson on March 27, 2021.
The baseball season is right around the corner and the Coaldale Baseball Association (CBA) is hoping 2021 provides a full season for its players.
After a year of continuous pandemic, the group is hoping restrictions lessen in order to get kids back on the diamond early this spring. The CBA has begun its annual start-up procedures and progress is moving smoothly, as they head towards their initial start date next month.
“We recently hosted our Annual General Meeting and our executive board is all returning in their past roles. We have a great group of executive and director volunteers that over the last few years have really helped CBA grow. With the wealth of experience and knowledge, CBA will continue to grow, while providing a safe environment for our communities’ youth to learn valuable skills — both on and off the diamonds,” said Jay LaPierre, president of CBA. “Coaldale baseball is currently planning on a full season, with teams beginning practice in early to mid-April and gameplay extending through June. This is of course dependent on the provincial restrictions and guidelines. However, the health and safety of all our players and families is the most important thing to us. On top of that, we’ve been having some exciting discussion around a summer house league to keep everyone who is interested going through August.”
The necessity to get kids back into organized sports after months of having none is a high priority for the association.
With many sports and social activities being cancelled or pushed back for the 2020-21 school year, this will be the first opportunity to join a team this year for many kids.
“Getting kids back into organized activities is absolutely crucial at this point. With the unfortunate shortening of fall and winter group activities, we’re hoping that with the rest of the spring and summer user groups we can provide the community with an outlet for kids and adults alike to get out, socialize and have fun. We’re hopeful that over the coming months we can slowly help the community return to some sense of normalcy. I personally can’t think of a better way to forget the world around me, than a night at the diamonds, whether participating or spectating,” added LaPierre.
Registration has already started for the group and LaPierre says early numbers are strong.
“Current registration numbers are looking really good. They’re where we are accustomed to seeing them in a regular year, which I think speaks volumes for our community, and is very positive.”
As far as teams within each division, LaPierre expects a full slate of teams.
Registration numbers are so strong so far, they’re also adding a new team under the CBA banner.
“With registration numbers as they are now, we’re actually looking at some big changes to CBA this year. We’ll continue to run a T-ball program, as well as two or three Machine Pitch teams, two Minor teams, a Major team, an Intermediate team, a Junior team and softball teams at both U12 and U14. We’re extremely happy to add a U10 softball team this year, as more and more young girls in our community are looking to get involved,” continued LaPierre. “On top of that, thanks to Devin Mulder, who is one of our executive and division directors, we will be adding a Rookie Ball team. Rookie ball is a fantastic transitional program that allows players to start taking the steps to go from Machine Pitch to Minors, without facing the drastic change head-on.”
While kids are understandably excited to get back to playing ball, parents are equally excited about a new season.
The drive to get back to normal sporting schedules is a big priority for many in the community.
“I think registration numbers speak loudly to this. It’s been a long 12 months. However, there is a lot of positivity from parents and players, and we’re all excited to get back on the diamonds,” stated LaPierre.
Despite a new season being planned with a full schedule, the pandemic is still ongoing – so the group is also aware additional safety measures are still needed.
Like last summer, the association is making sure all safety precautions are in place for those going to the diamonds.
“We’re expecting things to be very similar to last summer when we were able to start up. We’ll take all precautions and follow all of the AHS guidelines to ensure our players and their families are kept as safe as possible. At this time, that would include smaller group practices, coaches being masked, bags being stocked with hand sanitizer, as well as additional equipment cleaning protocols,” confirmed LaPierre.
Either way, the group is just happy to provide an outlet for players to continue to grow their games.
While measuring the success of a season isn’t a new easy thing to do for an association, the CBA will be doing everything in its power to provide players with the best season possible.
“We’re hopeful we will have as normal of a season as possible, where we can teach new players and volunteers new skills. Continue to help develop the skills of our experienced players. Enjoy the camaraderie of our friends and teammates. Learn respect and good sportsmanship, but most importantly put smiles on faces,” continued LaPierre.
“We’re looking forward to whatever 2021 brings us, so long as it includes a bat and a ball.” If you’re interested in playing baseball this year, you can register at coaldalebaseball.website.sportssignup.com.