The 2020 Australian Women's and Youth Women's Baseball Championships have been cancelled as the COVID-19 crisis escalates.
Baseball Australia today confirmed it had made the difficult decision to call off the tournament, originally slated for Canberra in April, after the Victorian border was closed this week and other states reconsider easing their restrictions.
Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale said the latest measures and lack of clarity over how the situation will progress took away the window of opportunity for the championships to be rescheduled in 2020.
“The planning that goes into national championships is significant,” Vale said. “Unfortunately the latest border restrictions are another setback and with no clear picture of how long they will be in place it makes it very difficult to plan for the event, especially with flight availability still limited.”
The championships were originally postponed in March, and Baseball Australia had hoped to reschedule the event, which was an important part of the Boral Australian Emeralds’ preparations for the 2020 Women’s Baseball World Cup.
The World Cup has been pushed back to November in Mexico, but Vale said, due to the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Latin America, it was questionable whether it would go ahead and that the Emeralds would be able to compete.
“Baseball Australia is currently working with Australian Government agencies and the WBSC to ensure the health and safety of players, staff and spectators,” Vale said. “But the reality with a ban on overseas travel from Australia currently in place, is it will take a dramatic improvement in COVID-19 restrictions being eased for the Emeralds to compete even if the event is held.”
Vale said he also expected to be in a position to provide an update on the proposed Australian women’s league with work continuing behind the scenes.
The location and dates of the 2021 Australian Women's and Youth Women's Baseball Championships will be announced later in the year.