The Pepsi Softball Centre as seen August 2018 in Whitehorse. Softball Yukon announced the cancellation of the 2020 Whitehorse Minor Softball season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Minor softball season cancelled due to COVID-19

Refunds for registration and sponsors on the way

The 2020 Whitehorse Minor Softball season has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

George Arcand, Softball Yukon’s executive director, announced the cancellation on April 15. He spoke with the News the same day about the decision.

Arcand said the organization sought the opinion of the Yukon government on the future of the season, and that cancellation was the best solution based on the likelihood that the pandemic would not be slowing down in the coming months.

The minor softball season typically lasts from April to mid June.

“We don’t want to have these kids exposed, so it’s better to be safe,” Arcand said.

The program has teams from the U6 to U16 age groups and includes an average of approximately 500 players split into 25 to 30 teams. There were about 400 registrations so far this year before this decision was made.

He said the costs for registration and some sponsorships will have to be refunded. An exact dollar figure wasn’t available.

There was no drop-in interest for the league — Arcand said the 400 registrations came in right away when it opened on March 2.

“It was going to be a great season,” Arcand said. “We were going to have a lot of kids, but it’s too bad.”

He said that if the organization had known the Arctic Winter Games were going to be cancelled on March 7, registration would not have opened.

He has not heard one negative comment about the cancellation.

“I think people were expecting it,” Arcand said. “It was just a matter of when it was going to happen.”

He added that he doesn’t think there will be an issue with being full next year.

Despite the cancellation, Softball Yukon is working to put together a program for kids at home, called Safe at Home. Details about the program will be published on the Softball Yukon Facebook page.

It is designed to offer softball programming at home and will include drills using provided equipment as well as interactive online activities.

He said this should be available in a few days, as it is still being put together.

As for the adult league, no decision has been made on cancelling the season. He said Softball Yukon is checking with their counterparts in other jurisdictions to go over what is happening.

The adult season is on hold until May 1, and the decision to move forward with the season or not will depend on how the discussions with provincial counterparts go.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

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