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Summer Amateur Leagues

Quebec Major Baseball League Postpones 2021 Season Start

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St-Hyacinthe, PQ – Following the recent announcements made iby the government and public health, the Quebec Major Baseball League has decided to postpone the start of their 2021 season and to shorten the number of games that will be played.

The Province and Coalition Avenir Québec MNA Isabelle Charest announced spectators will not be able to attend outdoor, competitive sports events until June 25. Thus, the LBMQ announced that it is on this date that the launch of the 20th season will take place.

The planned schedule of 28 games starting at the beginning of June will therefore be revised to have 22 games per team. As planned, the official opening game will be played on the grounds of last season’s champions, the Cactus de Victoriaville, which will host the finalists, the Cascades de Shawinigan.

The decision on fan attendance is perplexing to many team owners, including to François Lécuyer, the owner and president of the Sherbrooke Expos and Thetford Blue Sox. In a recent statement in the Sherbroke Record he said, “it makes no sense whatsoever,” considering people can go to movie theatres, concert halls, and the Bell Centre. There are stadiums in the LBMQ that can hold between 1,000 to 7,000 spectators. The league needs people to attend games, even if it is at a limited capacity, if it plans to survive another season filled with COVID-19 restrictions and safety regulations.”

The league also announced that their playoff format will remain the same, but that all 10 teams must reorganize their schedules accordingly to meet the new compressed time frame of the regular season.   “It is certain that we did not wish to have an even more reduced schedule, but unfortunately, we have to deal with the reality of the moment,” commented Commissioner Daniel Bélisle. “The all-star party scheduled for 1 st July will also be removed from the activities of the 20th ,” he concludes.

For more details on the LBMQ, please visit https://www.lbmq.ca/

Intercounty Basbeall League (ON)

Province’s Roadmap to Reopening Good News for the IBL

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The province’s Roadmap to Reopening announced last week states outdoor leagues can begin play at the start of Phase Two. If everything goes as planned that means Ontario’s Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) will be playing baseball on July 5, albeit with restrictions.

That is good news indeed as for the first time since 2019, there is some light at the end of the long and dark pandemic tunnel. The news from the province put a number of things in motion for the IBL. First and foremost, the IBL is preparing a Return to Play plan to submit to the province – The IBL cannot resume without an approved plan.

The league has retained Dr. Tim Rindlisbacher to assist in the preparation of a league plan as well as a Return to Play plans for our eight teams. Dr. Rindlisbacher has also worked with the Ontario Hockey Federation and the NHLPA on return-to-play plans.

The IBL plan will include a myriad of scenarios around fan capacity and distancing, masks, the use of clubhouses and buses, concessions, and many other items. Additional good news is that Phase Three, if all goes well, could start 21 days later, on July 26, with eased restrictions.

Everything it seems is in pencil these days, but the IBL is working towards a start date of around July 5 with regular-season games into early September followed by a shortened playoff season.

Historically, the IBL has allowed each team to have four imports. That rule is still in place, but border restrictions and logistics may have an impact on teams being able to bring in players from other countries.

The IBL is also encouraging players, team staff, umpires, volunteers and even fans to get vaccinated. The response has been fantastic and it’s our way out of the pandemic and a path to get back on the field. Plus, besides being the right thing to do, vaccination thresholds are an element of the province’s Roadmap to Reopening.

In the weeks coming, the Intercounty Baseball League will keep our fans, players, and stakeholders updated with our return to play plan and the league looks forward to returning to the field!

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: John Kastner, IBL Commissioner (519) 301-3227

The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) is the top-level baseball league in Canada, boasting ex-major league professional and elite NCAA college baseball players. The 2021 season will mark the IBL’s 102nd in operation. The IBL is one of the longest continuously operated baseball leagues in the world and serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball or returned to the IBL following their MLB careers.   The league is comprised of teams from Barrie, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Toronto, Guelph, Welland and Hamilton. For more information, visit www.theibl.ca.

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Baseball New Brunswick

New Brunswick Senior Baseball League to Proceed in 2021

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Saturday, April 24, 2021 – The New Brunswick Senior Baseball League is pleased to announce it will operate with 4 teams – Chatham Ironmen, Moncton Fisher Cats, Saint John Alpines and Charlottetown Islanders – for the 2021 season.

The teams have agreed on a 24 game schedule to begin on the holiday weekend of May 22nd-24th and conclude on August 14th. The playoffs will begin on August 21st with two best of 7 series and the finals another best of 7 games.

The Fredericton team has ceased operation for this year. The league would like to hear from any Fredericton Royals players who are interested in playing for another team in the league.

Once we identify which Royal players wish to play the league will meet to the discussed distribution of the players.  Any interested players are requested to contact the league statistician Tom O’Reilly at 506-652-6697 or by email at teejayoh@rogers.com to make their intention known, by April 15th. This player movement will be for one year only 2021.

We are looking forward to resuming the outstanding calibre of baseball to which we are accustomed and hope to see our fans at the parks.

Tom O’Reilly

NBSBL President

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Intercounty Basbeall League (ON)

Ontario’s Intercounty Baseball League Moves Forward for 2021

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CAMBRIDGE – Ontario’s Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) is moving forward with plans to play a 2021 season said Commissioner John Kastner in a statement released to the media and other stakeholders on Thursday.

This time last year the IBL was staring down the loss of their first season in league history, two teams had already informed the league they would not be playing and the COVID-19 Pandemic was beginning to take hold at record numbers.

Fast forward to today and just like the daily updates of the COVID-19 pandemic, things are much different and as of April 22, all eight-member clubs are fully committed to a return to the field at some point this summer.

“As more and more vaccines are being administered, hope springs eternal that the IBL will be back in some form this summer,” said Kastner. “The league hoped to start in June but that does not seem likely. But, with over 100,000 vaccines going into arms every day in Ontario we are confident that Intercounty baseball will be played this summer and we will be able to help communities rebound from over a year of restrictions.”

The league has appointed Dr. Tim Rindlisbacher as the league’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Rindlisbacher is a Sports Medicine Physician who is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the Ontario Hockey Federation and Consultant to the NHLPA. His new position within the IBL will be to coordinate with the provincial government and member clubs to develop a return-to-play plan for the 2021 season.

The IBL is a regional league, driven by its fans that enter the gates at the eight Southern Ontario stadiums. With that, the league simply cannot operate without a small percentage of attendance (in most cases as low as 10% capacity).

“As the IBL is a gate driven league, a modest percentage of capacity is required before we can start our regular season and it is our hope that with vaccinations and the following of health measures, that we will be able to see at least a small percentage of fans at home games,” said Kastner.

“Everyone who is involved with and enjoys the IBL can help us and their communities. Please, when it is your turn, get vaccinated. And please follow your local public health guidelines on measures including wearing a mask and social distancing.”

“To our stakeholders and fans, thank you for sticking with us through these tough times. Thank you to all the health care and frontline workers for all they are doing for us,” added Kastner. “Like everything right now there is a lot that is still up in the air but we have a plan, in fact, several plans, and all of those plans culminate with IBL baseball in 2021!”

With the announcement of several revised start dates, Kastner sat down with IBL On Deck Host, Jackson Farough to talk about the range of options in front of the league as it works to stage its season, its talks with the government and why the league has some real optimism heading into the summer. That video is presented here:

The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) is the top-level baseball league in Canada, boasting ex-major league professional and elite NCAA college baseball players. The 2021 season will mark the IBL’s 102nd in operation. The IBL is one of the longest continually operated baseball leagues in the world and serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball or returned to the IBL following their MLB careers. The league is comprised of teams from Barrie, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Toronto, Guelph, Welland and Hamilton. For more information, visit www.theibl.ca.

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