KMSL returns for summer 2021

Jordan Standup
Briane Alfred, of the RezBirds, hits the ball down the third-base line during KMSL action this past week. Greg Horn/Iorì:wase.
The Kahnawake Mixed Softball League was approved by the Kahnawake COVID-19 Task Force to play this summer and the league has already played two weeks of games on the schedule.

The look and feel of the games are different this season, as COVID-19 safety measures must be followed at all times.

The KMSL safety plan includes the following:
- Players on each team will enter the field on their respective sides and hand sanitizer stations are set up at the entrances. Only three players are allowed in the dugout at time. The rest of the team will be space out six feet along the foul lines.
- Players are not permitted to have alcoholic beverages on the field at any time. All players have their own water bottles, hand sanitizer, bats, gloves, balls and have a designated cleaner to sanitize bats and balls after each inning.
- No chewing tobacco, gum or seeds are allowed on the field.
- No interaction with other players during the game (including high fives, handshakes, etc.)
- Players must exit using the right field gate opening.
“We feel that the positive impacts that the game of baseball/softball can bring to every individual playing, fans, elders watching from the hospital and community members mental health,” KMSL Assistant Commissioner Ryan Montour said.

The KMSL also said it is ‘imperative that the following additional conditions are strictly’ adhered to:
- One member from each team will be responsible for taking the symptom log for each player and umpire to ensure that no one is exhibiting symptoms.
- No spectators are allowed (the bleachers will be blocked off). Spectators can watch from their vehicles in the parking lot in the outfield.
- A detailed roster will be kept for each game to ensure that contact tracing can be done should it be required.
- All players and umpires must wear masks.
- Twelve people maximum are allowed on the field.
- No tagging or touching home plate.
- Batter, catcher and umpire must distance six feet.
- No gathering before or after the game.
- Players need to understand that if a teammate does test positive, even with the above conditions in place, they may be considered a contact and may have to self-isolate for 14 days.
“It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun. We needed this; we all did,” Montour said.

He said he submitted a safety plan to the Task Force for review.

“They added about 10 things to the safety plan, but that’s alright because we are back to playing,” said Montour, adding that the approval came in just a few days before the opening games.

He said all seven KMSL teams plan to play full 18-game season, which will end in the fall.

“We didn’t play last year because there were just too many questions; safety issues,” Montour said. “We saw that minor baseball played a full season with zero cases last year, so we are happy to be back too.”

He was pleased to report that things are going smoothly at the moment.

“So far, so good. It’s going well. There are a lot of smiles on the field; lots of people glad to be back out there,” Montour said.

Two games are played on Tuesdays and another two games on Wednesdays.