Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale is confident the 2020/21 Australian Baseball League season will go ahead with a likely schedule due for release in the second week of August.
All eight clubs have signalled they intend to compete and have been convening weekly via video conference to plan for the league’s 11th season since an owners’ meeting in April to discuss the impact of COVID-19.
“Australians have done a fantastic job of adhering to restrictions set by the Federal and State Governments and we’re now seeing restrictions lift and life begin to return to normal,” Vale said. “It puts us in a position where we’re very confident the season will be able to go ahead, but the next couple of months will dictate exactly how the season looks.”
Vale said the league was working on a number of versions of the schedule. He said an August release, two months later than last year, would provide a clearer picture of how season would work.
“As it stands there are several states still enforcing 14-day quarantine periods for interstate travellers which would impact the ABL,” he said. “International travellers also face quarantine periods which will impact Geelong-Korea’s arrival and also travel between Australia and Auckland.”
Cavalry director Dan Amodio said “there are still a lot of questions to be answered” but they are looking forward to working with the ACT Government on solutions for crowd sizes and international players “of course all with the safety of our staff, players, members, and fans as priority number one”.
Vale hoped the season would be as close to normal as possible but said the clubs understood they may need to make some compromises. He said the league also remained hopeful fans would be able to attend games during the 2020/21 season but could not make any promises.
“We’ve been heartened by the return of other sports and discussions around fans being able to attend so we’ll continue to monitor the situation and cross our fingers it will be possible.”