Players’ equipment was placed six feet away from each other. Contributed photo

Maple Ridge hosts first official softball practice in B.C.

Players will most likely just be engaging in individual skills development this season

Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association players donned their uniforms for the first time since February at Albion Park on Monday, June 22.

The Pride 2006 team, lead by director of coaching and players development for RMMSA, Sally Smith, demonstrated Softball BC’s return to play guidelines and best practices for a host of local coaches and Softball BC officials.

“We were selected by Softball BC to see how effective their plan is for social distancing requirements and sanitation practices which will hopefully lead to a safe return for all the players,” said Smith.

“It was the first time that any team had demonstrated it for Softball B.C., so it was a huge honour for Ridge Meadows Softball.”

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows Softball to host demo

Some of the new guidelines for play include softballs being sanitized, equipment being kept separate, dugouts remaining off limits, mandatory health checks, and tracking of attendance.

Smith says they will also keep the group of individuals on and around the field to under 50 people.

The City of Maple Ridge is currently reviewing the return to play plan.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll be back on the field by July 1 for individual skill development,” Smith said. “And then depending on field allocations for the fall, we may play into the fall, or we will start with our off season again.”

While it comes as a bit of a disappointment for the players that they will not be competing any time soon, Smith said they were pleased to see each other.

“They are a tight knit group that have played together for a long time, so they were very excited just to be on the field playing the sport they love.

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A parent helps out to sanitize the softballs before play. Contributed photo

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