Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

DIVING CATCH – Guns outfielder Chad Curlew dives for the catch during the Men’s A 2019 Dustball championship game at the Pepsi Softball Centre. The 2020 Dustball tournament has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

COVID-19 forces Dustball cancellation

As COVID-19 measures persist, Softball Yukon announced the cancellation of Dustball 2020 in a statement released Friday.

By John Tonin on May 11, 2020

As COVID-19 measures persist, Softball Yukon announced the cancellation of Dustball 2020 in a statement released Friday.

“The health and safety of our membership is and will continue to be at the forefront of our decision-making process,” read the release. “While we are saddened by this announcement, we trust that it is the right decision.” George Arcand, the executive director for Softball Yukon, said the shuttering of the popular summer tournament comes as no surprise.

“Given the way things are, it was fully expected,” said Arcand. “When you see other things like the Road Relay be cancelled it’s a no brainer that we would have to cancel Dustball.”

The Dustball weekend sees teams from Alaska and the communities converge on Whitehorse, Arcand said organizers didn’t want to adjust the format of the tournament.

“Dustball involves teams coming into Whitehorse,” said Arcand. “If we tried to modify it, it would have never been Dustball. It’s just a sign of the times.”

Arcand said with 2020 cancelled, they are looking ahead 2021, where Softball Yukon is already looking forward to hosting a great event.

There is still a slight glimmer of hope for the territories ball players when it comes to adult league play. Arcand said there is still no determination about cancelling the season.

“Everything Softball related is shutdown until May 31,” said Arcand.

“At that time we will make a decision based on what the chief medical officer says. Right now we just have to wait.”

A decision on any further suspension or reinstatement of activities will be made prior to the May 31 date.

The effects of shuttered tournaments are not just felt in the Yukon.

Events in the Western provinces that local teams have attended have also been cancelled.

Arcand said you can expect to see more tournaments iced from other jurisdictions in the next couple of weeks.

The first Softball related activity to be cancelled was the 2020 Whitehorse Minor Softball season. The season, for U6-U16 athletes would typically run from May to mid-June but was called out in April.

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