Submitted by the Muskoka Hornets
The Muskoka Hornets baseball program is pleased to announce that its six travel teams for 2021 will return to local diamonds for practice following the move by the Ontario government to Step One. As of Friday, outdoor sports leagues can begin practising and in as little as three weeks, it is possible that competitive game play will be allowed across Ontario.
Baseball Ontario is working with other minor sports organizations on a plan that will allow for a more normal summer of competitive minor sports. The hope is with continued uptake of vaccines combined with lower infection rates, the government will ease limitations on league sizes and allow for more travel for competitive teams this summer.
“One of the groups most affected by the pandemic is young athletes, who in many cases have lost two years of development and competition. With a clear path to recovery in place and baseball proving last summer that it can adopt necessary COVID protocols to minimize risk of an outbreak, we hope that return to competition in July will not be interrupted again,” commented Peter Haynes, president of the Muskoka Hornets. “Our young Hornets baseball players have worked hard in a virtual practice setting over the winter. Now it is time to get back to the diamond.”
In addition to its six travel teams, the Hornets will operate a house league program in Huntsville each Wednesday for up to 12 weeks starting in late June or early July. The Hornets were unable to run a house league program in 2020 and so are very excited for the players in our Huntsville community program to have an opportunity to get outdoors, learn some baseball fundamentals and, most importantly, have some fun. The plan is to start with development activities for the first few weeks and return to game play in mid-summer. This is all predicated on approval from provincial health officials in terms of gathering size limits. Space in our house league program is available at all age limits from 3-15.
The Muskoka Hornets program started in 2009 with a mandate to offer kids in the Muskoka region a chance to play competitive baseball. In its first year, the Hornets had one Mosquito Select team. Since then, the program has expanded rapidly including adding management of the Huntsville and Gravenhurst Minor Baseball programs. In 2021, the Hornets will field six travel teams from 9-18U and expect 150 players in its house league program in Huntsville.
For further information on the Muskoka Hornets program, visit www.hornetsbaseball.ca
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