Sports organizations react to re-opening plan changes

Daily Herald File Photo Brady Robin of the Prince Albert Royals applies the tag on Ethan Wolensky of the Regina Buffalos at Andy Zwack Field last summer.

Over the last few weeks, sports organizations in Prince Albert have been gearing up for the second step in Saskatchewan’s Re-Opening Roadmap, which would see outdoor sports restrictions being lifted.

Those plans on Tuesday morning, as it was announced that current public health measures for outdoor sports would be part of the first step in the province’s re-opening plan this Sunday.

“It’s great for the kids as they finally get to go out and play,” Prince Albert Minor Baseball president Duane Krip said.

“A lot of players have been practicing for the last month and some of our members were indoors practicing as far back as the middle of March. Now they are finally able to get out on the field and play some competitive games.”

While PA Minor Baseball is ready to go for most of our divisions, except for the Under-15 and Under-18 Royals as they play out-of-town opponents, changes are currently being made to the Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association’s schedule as a result of Tuesday’s announcement.

“So far we’ve been doing training in each age group with just groups of eight on the field,” PAYSA technical director Dragan Ivkovic said.

“This (announcement) will give us a chance to form teams and get everyone playing games, but it will be pretty busy at the office though for the next few days as we try and get everything sorted out as we get ready for the last month of our outdoor season.”

The Prince Albert Minor Football Association is currently in the final weeks of their spring season and is deciding on what they will do with the new regulations coming into effect on Sunday.

“We’re discussing the different options that we have in front of us,” president Taras Kachkowski said. “We can maintain the status quo of what we’ve been doing with our skill work, we can move to a flag football format so that it feels more like what we normally offer in the spring and we can also go full contact and bring out the equipment for the last two weeks.

“From the sounds of things though, we’re looking at having things back to normal for our fall season, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

Tuesday’s announcement came as a pleasant surprise to Prince Albert Lacrosse, as they were initially planning to start playing games around June 20.

“We’re currently working on our new plans now to have games within our local group before hopefully getting the chance to play some surrounding communities as things go along,” president Javan Bexson said.

“We’re still hopeful that we can host the field provincials later this year and we might still have a chance for some indoor games for the Predators junior program, even though the PGLL season has been cancelled. It’s a positive day for the entire sports community.”

One sport that’s still sorting out their details is rugby, as the Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks senior men’s team is hoping to get back out on the pitch this summer.

“It’s my understanding that we are waiting for Sask Health’s return to play plans and seeing how that fits in with what guidelines Rugby Canada has, especially since rugby is a contact sport so it’s all very extensive,” Darcy Murphy said.

“There were a couple of meetings over the last week and now we’re seeing what we can do here as we move forward to get back practicing and playing.”