Parksville Royals hope to play games in 2021. (Michael Briones photo)

Parksville Royals hope to play games in 2021. (Michael Briones photo)

B.C. Premier Baseball League Parksville Royals still aiming to play games in 2021

Teams not permitted to travel for competition and tournaments

The Parksville Royals have been trying to secure permission to play a doubleheader against the Mid-Island Pirates but so far, have struck out.

General manager Mike Parlow said they have been unsuccessful, due to Baseball BC for interpreting the strictest possible definition of ViaSport’s ‘local-only’ game policy.

“They have decided that for the Premier Baseball League, a local club is a team,” said Parlow. “They could’ve easily recommended to ViaSport that PBL teams within a health region constituted local. The latter would be in line with present PHO travel guidelines.”

Baseball BC has moved to Stage 2 of its Return to Play guidelines for youth and adult. It allows team training and development, live batting practice, scrimmage and inter-squad games, and in-club game play. What is not permitted is travel for competition and tournaments.

Parlow pointed out during a conference call on June 1, ViaSport stated that leagues with teams scattered over larger areas were a grey area in the policy and that they would leave it to Baseball BC to determine what constituted local play.

READ MORE: Parksville Royals field veteran team for 2021 baseball season

“Baseball BC decided that ‘local’ is defined as an association,” said Parlow. “In many cases, a B.C. minor association includes multiple communities.”

Parlow cited some examples happening in Victoria and Chilliwack. He said four midget teams in Victoria B.C. minor are allowed to play against each other but PBL Victoria Mariners and Victoria Eagles are prohibited. While in Chilliwack, teams travelling 60 kilometres within their boundaries are permitted to play games while Nanaimo is not allowed to travel to play in Parksville, which is 27 kilometres away.

The Royals have been training for more than 21 weeks, keeping their game sharp but would like to play some games.

Parlow said the baseball season has already been shortened and they’re trying to get more game time especially for their senior players.

A schedule is now being planned to run from June 16 to Aug. 15 but is subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic.

Parlow said he will keep on trying to get the Royals to play some games before them. They’re hoping to play the Mid-Island Pirates from Nanaimo.

Meanwhile, Oceanside Minor Baseball has already started playing games with teams in the same age group that is under its jurisdiction. COVID-19 protocols are still effect and strictly enforced.

The dugouts remains closed to make sure players follow social distancing protocols. They are also required to wear masks but they’re optional when playing on the field as long as they maintain physical distancing.

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