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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Update July 24, 2020
Posted on behalf of Softball NWT and our Directors

Sorry for the delay in updating our news release but there was a lot of behind the scenes work required to get softball activities started up during these challenging COVID 19 times across the NWT and Canada.

Softball Canada, the Western Canadian Softball Associations and Slo Pitch National all made a final decision in late May to cancel all Canadian and Western Canadian championships for 2020.

Our NWTSA board members along with the various community boards and volunteers worked very closely with the GNWT Public Health organization in order to develop our community level return to play plans for Mens Fastball and Mixed Slo Pitch across the NWT in late May and early June. We developed Return to play protocols that would be consistent with the GNWT directives and guidelines included in phase two of the GNWT Emerging Wisely plan.

These protocols included mandatory completion of a personal declaration form as well as completing an assumption of risk and waiver form for each participant or volunteer prior to any individual taking part in any organized or sanctioned softball activities in the NWT.

The Yellowknife Mens Fastball association was the first organization in Canada to start league play on June 15, 2020 and by all accounts the players, officials and volunteers have appreciated the opportunity to get out on the field again even with the new Public Health restrictions and limitations we have to follow.

The Hay River and Ft Simpson mens fastball groups also got started a bit later in June and there is an invitational Mens Fastball tournament being held this weekend in Hay River. The YK Slo Pitch league started league play on June 21, 2020.

The Inuvik and Hay River Slo Pitch leagues will be getting action underway very quickly before the end of July.

Unfortunately most minor ball programs have been put on hold so far this season but please feel free as parents to encourage the youth to get out and play some catch or hit them some fly balls in order to get some outdoor activity while respecting the social distancing requirements of the NWT.

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Paul Gard
Executive Director
Cell: 867-445-5014

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NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 17th, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update Posted on behalf of Softball NWT and our Directors

A number of our members, participants and the media have been asking the following question given recent COVID 19 restriction developments.

What action is NWT Softball taking given the GNWT approval and release of the “Emerging Wisely” plan? This plan identifies a phased-in approach of
easing restrictions associated with COVID-19 in the
NWT.

Like most other softball enthusiasts in the NWT, our board of directors was very excited to see that softball activities are included in the first phase of the plan.

Although this is very exciting news to our organization, like many other softball organizations across the country, we have to ensure that we take the time to
develop a safe approach to start up softball activities.

It is critical that we develop a plan to ensure that all softball activities operate in a manner that will respect the phase one restriction and limitation of 25 individuals for outdoor personal gatherings while ensuring the safety of all softball participants and volunteers. This work is underway.

In the interim, NWT Softball will continue to follow the direction of Softball Canada and suspend the sanctioning of all softball activities in the NWT until at least Sunday, May 31, 2020.

For clarity, suspension of softball activities means NWT Softball will not sanction any organized outdoor group activities including clinics for players, coaches or umpires, or player practices or competitions. NWT Softball will not cover any of these activities under our liability or personal injury insurance policies until such time as we have developed and implemented a plan to resume organized softball activities. This applies to all member Associations and leagues in the NWT.

We encourage all of our member Associations and leagues to start the local planning process by holding their AGM or volunteer meetings and reviewing their participant registration processes.

We also encourage players and parents to be patient as our organization and their local associations and leagues work together to develop a framework and the required safety measures prior to starting any modified softball programs in our communities.

We will be providing regular updates on the development of our return-to-play plan.

Please feel free to direct any questions to:
Paul Gard
Executive Director
867-445-5014 Cell

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NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 1st, 2020

2020 WESTERN CANADIAN SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS
The Western Canadian Softball Association (WCSA) have announced the cancellation of all 2020 Western Canadian Softball Championships as noted below.

– U12 Boys July 23rd – 26th Saskatoon, Sk.

– U14 Boys and Girls Aug. 6th – 9th BC

– U16 Boys & Girls Aug. 6th – 9th Strathmore, AB

– U19 Boys & Girls Aug. 13th – 16th Winnipeg, MB

– Men’s & Women’s Aug. 6th – 9th Blackfalds, AB

As the coronavirus global pandemic continues to impact all Provinces and Territories in Western Canada the Western Canada Softball Association has had ongoing discussions and ultimately felt the championships were no longer viable while ensuring the health and well-being of all athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators. The decision took into consideration advice from each Provincial & Territorial Health Authorities.

President of the WCSA Gary MacDonald indicated “the Association wants to recognize the ongoing hard work, passion and dedication invested by our host organizations and the tremendous leadership from all Western Canadian Provincial/Territorial Softball Associations. He also wanted to recognize the tremendous cooperation and support each Province and Territory has for one another and for their commitment to further develop and promote the sport of Softball in Western Canada. This was not an easy decision but the correct one given the overriding importance to ensure the health, safety and well being of everyone involved. We encourage our softball family to continue to work hard to curb the spread of Covid-19 and stay patient until we all get the safe signal to return to the diamonds.”

For more information on the Western Canada Softball Association and Championships please contact your Provincial or Territorial Softball office.
NWT Softball Association
Paul Gard
Executive Director
867-445-5014

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Please watch this short video “Softball Safety Hacks” from our friends at Softball Canada with tips for our members to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the stress on our health care system.

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RECENT UPDATES

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Update April 15, 2020
Posted on behalf of Softball NWT and our Directors

I would like to advise our membership that Softball NWT is extending the suspension of sanctioning for all softball activities in the NWT until at least Sunday May 31, 2020.

This new timeframe decision follows a recent conference call hosted by Softball Canada along with other Provincial and Territorial associations regarding the suspension of their activities. For clarity, suspension of softball activities means NWT Softball will not sanction any organized in person group activities including player, coaching or umpire clinics, practices or competition. This action means that we will not cover any of these activities under our liability or personal injury policies until such time as we are allowed to resume organized softball activities.

This applies to all member Associations and leagues. We will make every effort to work with hosts and instructors to re-schedule any clinics and activities that are suspended due to this matter. We encourage all our member Associations and leagues to continue to make plans in anticipation that we will still be able to play softball at some point this year. We encourage players and parents to be patient and cooperate with their local associations and leagues as they work through the impact of this situation in the hopes that local softball programs will still operate this year.

Currently, we are not entertaining any concessions or changes to existing softball rules and regulations. However, depending on how this situation progresses, we will certainly look to adapt and potentially make changes as required in order to help our members get an opportunity to enjoy our game this summer.
Given that our sport relies heavily on the efforts of volunteers, we also want to say a special thanks to each one of you for your dedication, passion, and commitment to our sport, especially during this difficult time.

Softball Canada will be working with each provincial and territorial softball association to review, evaluate and monitor the ongoing Covid-19 situation and provide further updates on a biweekly basis or as we become aware of any further information which may require us to extend the suspension of sanctioned activities.
We want to wish everyone in the entire softball community in the NWT and across Canada a safe and productive time with family, friends, and co-workers. Feel free to contact me for additional information.

Paul Gard
Executive Director
867-445-5014