No decision has been made yet, but all indications are that the start of the season for the Quebec Elite Junior Baseball League will be postponed beyond the planned date of May 29. “The health of young people comes before baseball,” said Rodger Brulotte, president of LBJEQ.
LBJEQ is already juggling several scenarios in anticipation of the 2021 season, which may be similar to the one in 2020, marked by the continuing pandemic.
“Will it be a junior baseball season? The answer is yes, but what we do not know is when we can play? If next season were to look like last year, I would be very comfortable with it, ”Brulotte explains.
By 2020, LBJEQ had postponed the start of the season until July 15, which allowed it to keep a schedule of 22 games in addition to the playoffs. The teams had played there in their division.
“The difference with last year is the red zones and the curfew. If this was maintained, we will not be able to play during the week. “It should only be done on the weekends and not be finished too late to let everyone go home to respect the curfew,” he said.
The second problem is traveling to avoid a red zone, which can be a headache for teams fielding players from another region.
“At the moment, it does not work to go too fast in our decisions, because it leads nowhere. Last year we were one of the few leagues that had a season, and we have not had a positive COVID-19 case. We are currently looking at what is happening in QMJHL, and we know very well that we would not be immune to cases. As last year, we talk regularly with public health, and we will monitor the health measures that are in place. If we were asked to play with a mask this summer, we would do it, ”Brulotte illustrated, hoping that the vaccination of all Quebecers would be completed on June 24.
Can not train at the moment
Regardless of the date of the first pitch, LBJEQ will offer at least two full weeks of preparation for their teams. In many regions, including Quebec City, it is currently impossible for Charlesbourg Diamonds and Alouettes to train.
“We will adjust depending on when the season starts. Personally, I am never disappointed, I just look for how I get the most out of the situation in front of me. I will be happy to have a season and we will do our best, “said Josué Peley, new Alouette’s head coach. The day before the opening of its first training camp in its new role, the region fell into the dark red zone, and club activities, such as Diamonds, are currently on hiatus.
Should the season be delayed, this could allow Alouettes to play the majority of their games on the new synthetic surface at Parc Henri-Casault.
“Our country must be ready by 15 July. We will play at Stade Canac and Parc Champigny until we can use it, “said the former recipient of Capitals and the interpreter to Blue Jays.