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Commissioners Update - May 12, 2020

Commissioner’s Update – May 29 – Update # 5

Good afternoon everyone.  The Executive appreciates your patience during the current pandemic. We hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.

The Executive met with the Managers’ Council this week, as well as attending the Slo-Pitch Ontario Town Hall yesterday.

The purpose of the MCM was to provide the Managers the opportunity to review a draft of the SPO Return to Play plan, some league updates, as well providing the Executive a sense of where teams and players stood on continuing with the season taking into account the current situation.

As mentioned in previous updates, any determination of going forward with the season will depend on policies and protocols set out by the different levels of governments, but foremost is the health and safety of the players, members, umpires and spectators.

I have attached the SPO Return to Play Plan, which along with additional protocols set by the league, may allow us to play if and once the appropriate agencies allow the parks and fields to open. 

I have asked the Managers to further canvas their players this weekend to garner a better sense of how many members would be willing to continue play this season.  Our initial survey several weeks prior indicated that a lot of players wished to continue with the season; however, given the potential restrictions and changes to the way that the game will be played, as well as potential health variables, many of you may feel differently at this time. 

Please take the time to review the SPO Return to Play as well as the following FAQ information in order that you can make a more informed decision. 

FAQ Information

Field Permits

The City’s Parks Dept has received and approved our permit application.  The proposed season would commence on July 10 and run through to September 12. Playoffs on the following two weekends. Permit fees will not be paid until the Province and the City opens the fields.

Length of Season – Number of games

Proposed schedule would be 8 weeks with 16 games per team.

Cost per player

As the proposed schedule is 6 games less than a normal season, the cost per player would be set across the board at $150 per player.  Refunds will be available for those who have already submitted the Early Bird fee.

Registration Fee

As it currently still unknown if there we will be able to play ball this season, players may register; however, fees will not be due until July 1st.  If you register, please only complete the first section which is personal information. Do not submit any payment when you register until further notice.

Team Fees

As most of the League’s sponsors are provincially mandated to be closed, the league will not require Team Fees for this year only – 2020.  Those teams who have submitted their team fee already will be refunded.

League Costs

A forecast of possible scenarios (24, 18, 12 teams) at 14 players per team was conducted and reviewed. This forecast

eliminated costs anticipated not to be incurred as a result of the current social distancing requirements, with the CGSL

Fundraiser, and Annual Awards Banquet making up the bulk of these reductions.  In place of the Annual Awards Banquet, winning teams and player awards would be formally recognized on the league’s website.

While for each team level certain costs were reduced based on the number of teams, the league continues to be obligated to pay for other items regardless of the number of participating teams, such as: software licenses, Bank and PayPal fees, and storage costs which would continue to be incurred.

The decision to hold player fees flat at $150.00 across all scenarios and the elimination of team fees $550.00 per team has resulted in the league operating in increasingly larger deficit positions as the number of participating teams declines.

As is prudent with many leagues, CGSL has set a goal to maintain a reserve sufficient to cover the permit costs for the season.

In an effort to help shelter our players from additional costs, it was decided to allow for the deficit to be funded by the reserve.  However, this option decreases the league’s ability to fund for contingencies - and if the number of teams and/or players falls below threshold, this increases the risk of depleting the reserve.

Season Cancellation – Player Refunds

If it is determined that it is not viable to continue with the season, all players who have paid their player fees will receive a refund.

Teams/Players not returning

Should a team or player decide that they are not playing this season, there will be no restriction placed on them in returning next season.  We obviously want everyone to return to play next season.

GSWS Columbus 2020 – Gay World Series

The NAGAAA Board of Directors, along with the GSWS Columbus Tournament Committee announced last night that this year’s Gay World Series would not go forward but would be postponed to August 30 – September 4, 2021.

The following host cities agreed to move back one year, hence Dallas, Texas will host in 2022 and Twin Cities – Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota in 2023.

MIST Toronto 2020

MIST Tournament Director and the Executive Liaison members will be meeting with MIST City representatives tonight and it is expected that a decision will be made on whether the tournament continues or is postponed until 2021.

The Executive wants to thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to make the most appropriate decisions as it relates to this season.  The Executive will be meeting early next week, and it is my hope that a final decision can be made in relation to the season.  We want to reiterate, that our commitment is first and foremost, is to the health and safety of our players, coaches, managers, umpires, members, spectators, and sponsors.

Sponsors (For all to Note)

As mentioned previously, many of our League Sponsors have suffered greatly during the pandemic, with some remaining to be closed and some only recently open with restrictions.  Please see the league’s website at www.cgslsoftball.com for their current status and please if you’re able, support them in any way you can – online orders, delivery or take-out.

They have always graciously supported the league and teams over the years, its time for us to give back.

Please see attached SPO Return to Play Protocol. 

CGSL specific additions will include:

  1. Mat to be attached to home plate (this season only) – Strike called when ball hits mat – no called strike zone.  Allows for physical distancing for the batter, catcher, and umpire.
  2. No teams in dug outs.  Players to stand outside dugout and playing field at a safe distance from each other.
  3. Bats to be sanitized between batters and shared sparingly.
  4. Safety line and commitment line utilized at home and between home and 3rd base.
  5. Catchers and Pitchers not allowed to share masks.
  6. Bleacher stands not to be utilized – spectators to distance themselves from others in an area behind the screen and outfield fences.
Ken Tedford
Commissioner
Cabbagetown Group Softball League
CGSL-Toronto
647-292-3434