June is normally a month where we are all run off our feet trying to keep up with all of the baseball amidst the last month of school, graduations and families preparing for summer….this spring has felt surreal for all of us. In an effort to do our best to serve our members, the BCBUA Board of Directors has met several times in the last few months trying to keep up with all the changes and ensure our members were kept up to date. We have worked diligently to provide as much baseball education through non-contact methods as possible.
Many of our members have enquired about refunds of their membership because there has been no baseball so far this year. Although there are now plans underway for potential limited startup of some play in late summer or fall, to date there has been no need for on field officials in baseball.
BCBUA is pleased to announce that it has published a comprehensive online learning tool for our Level 1 officials. We have also published supplemental materials for Level 2 and Level 3+ officials which covers advanced topics including batting out of order, code of conduct and mental preparation.
In order to access the resources, please log in, navigate to the Education hub (under YOUR AREA) and select the level you'd like to review. For our Level 1 officials, the online material will take the place of the offline clinic for 2020 so that you are able to take the field once baseball is back!
Please see the linked document for an update from Baseball BC about the status of its return to play efforts.
Earlier this week, Baseball Canada and Baseball BC both published updates in respect of the impact of COVID-19 on baseball. Both Baseball Canada and Baseball BC have cancelled their respective championships for 2020. However, Baseball BC has also confirmed that in spite of the cancellation of championships, the intention is still to run a season once it is safe to do so. The specifics of this season are still to be determined and we will provide a further update once the specifics have been confirmed. Baseball BC has convened a committee to determine appropriate return to play protocols in partnership with Sport BC, which will be submitted to the appropriate authority for approval. BCBUA will have input in this return to play process.
If you have any questions or concerns about the current situation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Baseball Canada and Baseball BC announcements are linked below for your reference.
The Comox Valley, Vancouver Island North, and the entire Baseball Community in BC lost an ardent supporter on April 20 with the passing of Eric Toneff.
Eric was a longstanding baseball advocate and umpire supporter in his native Comox. He served as an umpire, a BCBUA Area Director, a BC Minor Baseball Director, and a friend of everyone for as long as anyone can remember.
Prior to his involvement in Baseball, Eric was a professional wrestler, mainly for BCTV’s All-Star wrestling for those of you old enough to remember those days. He loved talking about the old wrestlers and the many, many characters that popularized wrestling in the 80’s – of which Eric blatantly admitted he was not one of. He truly loved that period of time in his life.
Soon he would end up as a Funeral Director in Comox, and eventually owning his own business.
He was a tremendous supporter of umpires especially at the Grass Roots level, spending hours at the field mentoring and working with new umpires, and still finding time to work on his own game as a very competent level 3 umpire in BC who was more than capable at the Sr Level.
After suffering a serious ear injury on a line drive in Parksville, Eric left the field and umpiring and focused his efforts as a BC Minor Baseball Director for which he served several terms.
Eric was also a friend of baseball off the field. When our Provincial Supervisor Howard Chapman passed away in 2015, Eric donated his services and time as a Funeral Director as a way to honor our leader. This was a tremendous gesture, which spoke volumes of Eric’s dedication to umpiring and the Game of Baseball, but mostly his compassion as a human being.
We will all miss Eric’s contributions, but more than all of that, we will miss his personality and his character as an individual.
On March 13, 2020, BCBUA announced that it would suspend all IN PERSON baseball operations until the end of March due to COVID-19, consistent with a similar announcement from Baseball Canada. Baseball BC has now also served notice that they will be shutting down in person baseball operations indefinitely. In view of widely publicized developments in British Columbia and Canada, BCBUA baseball operations are suspended indefinitely. THIS INCLUDES THE NATIONAL CLINIC AND UMPIRE ACADEMY THAT WERE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL. We will re-evaluate in due course when circumstances warrant.
We regret any inconvenience but confirm that we are primarily concerned with the safety of our members and their families and are doing our best to comply with the advisories of public health authorities.