Langley Blaze head coach Jamie Bodaly posted a video of a recent practice. The organization is using social distancing and sanitization protocols as practices.

Langley Blaze back on the field but only for practices

New camera system allows families and colleges to watch ball players

Langley Blaze baseball resumed practices in late June but there won’t be a proper ball season, according to the organization’s general manager.

“The league season is officially not on,” said Doug Mathieson.

But the local ball club got the green light to offer socially distanced practices which is allowing the coaches and athletes to return to the game they love.

“Our coaches are excited,” he said. “Our players are happy to be back out.”

The Blaze has protocols and procedures in place to sanitize and keep people distanced. They keep records of attendance for contact tracing.

“Parents have been great staying in their cars,” Mathieson added.

Mathieson said the organization is basing decisions on B.C. health experts and will follow their directives for gradual reopening. While there won’t be a traditional ball season, the club may continue summer session until August, instead of the traditional July stoppage.

“If we get the green light, we’ll play exhibition game schedules,” he added. “If we further get a green light, we’ll probably do some September tournaments but that’s all speculation at this point. We’re just going day by day and see what we can do.”

More sports have resumed in the U.S. which is seeing record virus spread.

“We don’t need that,” Mathieson commented.

Langley Blaze is willing to wait for the health of players, coaches, and families.

The practices help with skills development but a new tech tool, brought in because of the pandemic, could also help players really score.

A high definition camera has been installed at McLeod Baseball Field. Any Blaze team can access it.

“Anyone using the field can use it,” he explained.

Games and practices can be viewed by family, the public and even scouts for colleges and universities.

“It’s good for sending out college videos,” he added.

The Langley Blaze organization has sent more than 250 players onto post-secondary education but COVID-19 has changed how schools find out about players. In the past, there were showcase events and scouts were free to travel.

The Blaze is trying to help players whose futures are impacted by the virus.

“We’re allowing seniors to come back if they’ve lost a season,” Mathieson said.

Many schools are doing the same which limits the space available for Blaze players ready to go to the next level so they can at least continue with skills development.

Langley Advance Times

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