What's the plan for the 2021 ball season?
At this time, (Dec. 2020), it is still too early for us to confirm specifics for spring 2021 but the plan is to resume with the same age groupings only all modified by one year, i.e. Senior TBall for 2021 would be for children born in 2012, 2013 and 2014. (Similar birthdate updates for our other leagues.) We cannot see proceeding if Kitchener is in the "RED" zone --- or worse, as it is at this time. Hopefully people will abide by social protocols and conditions will improve, local residents will get vaccinated and ... we'll see you at the park
There will undoubtedly be some necessary changes to the actual operation of the program and game-play depending on health and safety requirements such as social distancing and sharing of equipment but these are unknown at this time. We'll be taking the steps necessary to ensure it's safe for the kids to play so everyone can enjoy the experience. Beginning in 2021, each team will have at least one volunteer assigned to overlook safety policies and procedures such as cleaning/sanitizing the equipment as necessary.
In past years, we have started accepting registrations in early December for our season the following spring but not this year. Our website will be updated as things become clearer as to what may be possible regarding the feasibility of playing ball again. Once we have permits to play, our program will be promoted through the school boards, social media and local publications.
So, please peruse our website for information on our program --- it's still last year's but it's all we can offer at this time. The important thing for us all right now is to stay safe. In the meantime, the kids can play catch, practise hitting, and stay active to help develop skills.
I rolled my child's registration over from the cancelled pandemic 2020 season to 2021, now what?
All registrations rolled over to 2021 are valid for the 2021 season. Let's hope we get a "green" light to play with doable protocols and we'll proceed accordingly. (We require permits from the City of Kitchener and Health Dept. approval of our protocols and enforcement hereof.) Once the situation becomes clearer, "pre-registered" participants will be notified and requested to update all information regarding playing day preferences, friend requests, volunteer roles, etc. They will also have the option of a refund or, if the 2021 program isn't suitable due to pandemic conditions, carrying her registration over to 2022. We really want to be able to offer a viable program in spring 2021 --- details will follow, hopefully by mid-February and probably after a survey of pre-registered participants such as you! In the meantime, any suggestions are welcome!
What happened to the 2020 season?
The short (truthful) answer is, it got cancelled in early April. We continued to monitor the situation (and still do) and work on details so that, when we do get an "amber" light, we'll have a viable program to offer. This could be with modified playing rules, less sharing of equipment, no "team" snacks, team "health" coordinators ...... we'll see! Once the light turns "green" (most likely not until there's a viable vaccine for the Covid-19 virus) we'll get back to our program in a workable format.
Updates will be issued as the situation evolves and firm decisions are made. Rest assured, we'll play if/when it's deemed safe to do so. Please bear with us as we all work through this uncertainty with the situation changing almost weekly. As of Sept. 2020, our goal/hope is to have a ball program approved to operate for spring 2021. In the meantime, practise and stay safe!
What if the season gets cancelled? How do I get a refund?
The last option on the table for 2020 was for us to cancel the season outright. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. The decision was made with the understanding that safety considerations meant that there'd be no summer activities of any kind for our local kids: no sports, no swimming pools, no day camps, no summer camps = lots of inactivity!
Registrants for our 2020 season were offered the option of a full refund or having their fee transferred to our upcoming 2021 season and approx. 50% are now "pre-registered" for 2021. We're Optimists and we're here for the kids!!
We're open to exploring all options to ensure kids have the opportunity to play in spring 2021 when it's safe to do so under guidelines in place. The parks have to be open! At this time, no one knows what the future holds but hopefully there's a light out there somewhere and it'll be bright enough to allow us to offer some outdoor ball activity fun with the kids!
What time do the games start?
All games (except those scheduled for play on Saturday) start at 6:30 pm. Saturday games start at 9:00 am.
What days do you schedule games?
Teams generally have two games scheduled each week. Actual game days vary each week but are scheduled within any the playing day parameters provided on the registration forms.
I registered already but now want to change my playing day preferences; also my child has a friend request to add. What should I do?
The person who completed the registration form can make additions/corrections any time up to when the organizational meetings are held. Send an email to us (Registration@stanleyparkoptimist.com) with the request details and don't forget to include both your name, contact # and the player's full name.
How do I ensure my child will be on the same team as his/her friend(s)?
Specify the names of any friends in the space provided for such on the registration form. (We only require the name(s) not explanations -- and proper/correct full names work best!) Note that making more than one or two requests is often not possible especially if the others also have made requests to be with others. Mutual requests work best as playing day preferences have to be given priority. Advice: Check with the other player to confirm he/she is actually registering with us, which league they are registering in and whether they have any playing day restrictions. (Requests from bonafide coaches carry a lot of weight!)
My child wants to play but the registration fee is a barrier for us at this time. What can I do?
We don't turn any child away. You can still complete the registration paperwork online and check off one of the options (e.g. cash) for payment later. You can then see us at one of our mall registration sessions and confirm the registration status. Unless you are getting funding from an outside source, r.e. JumpStart, we ask that you pay what you can afford (as you can afford to do so). We get funding through the Kitchener Sports Association and accept donations so we don't have to turn anyone away for financial reasons.
What equipment does my child need?
NOTE: THIS RESPONSE IS UNDER REVIEW FOR THE 2021 SEASON; DETAILS TBD BUT SUPPLIED EQUIPMENT WILL BE DONE IN COMPLIANCE WITH SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. ... With the exception of a fielding glove*, we provide everything needed for participation: bats, balls, batting helmets, face shields & catchers' equipment (3-pitch). Players should have closed shoes suitable for running, i.e. running shoes -- not sandals, flip flops, nor bare feet. Fielding gloves are not necessary for Blastball but our T-Ball and 3-Pitch players do use them. For T-Ball, we use a 9" soft-core ball so a basic (beginner) glove is recommended. We use a regulation 11" softball (misnomer as it's not soft-core at all) for 3-Pitch so a glove suitable for softball is recommended. Note*: Through donations, we do have an inventory of loaner gloves for those who do not possess one. Arrangements to borrow (or exchange) a glove can be made at the start of the season.
How many teams are there?
The number of teams in each league is determined by the number of children registered to play by the end of March. The exact number varies from league to league and from year to year but recently we've had 10 to 16 Blastball teams, 12 to 16 Junior T-Ball teams, 8 to 10 Senior T-Ball teams, and 5 to 8 teams in each of our 3-Pitch leagues; total 48 to 54 teams. As we head into January 2021, we have no idea as to team numbers for the 2021 season --- and the teams may each have fewer players.
What's the last date I can register to play?
Registering early is always recommended, especially if you have playing day restrictions or "friend" requests. Once we get into our "late" registration period, the number of teams in each league is set so the number of roster spots becomes limited. Most of the teams will already have their full allotment of players and those with open spots are filled on a first-come basis. As leagues fill up, we employ a waiting list in case of withdrawals. Once the team photos are taken, early May, the online registration system is formally shut down.