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Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada held its Annual General Meeting in a virtual setting on Saturday, November 14th due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. National umpire meetings between the Officiating Development Committee and the Provincial/Territorial Umpires-in-Chief were held the evenings of November 11 and 13 respectively, with a Motions Workshop held the evening on November 12 and a President’s Forum taking place prior to the AGM on November 14.

With the postponement of international events, the cancellation of the Canadian Championships and a limited amount of local play since pandemic restrictions began in March, there were few proposals for changes to the Constitution and Bylaws, Special Operating Rules and Playing Rules. Of note, the current version of the Softball Canada rulebook (2019-2020) will remain in effect for the 2021 season and the next version of the rulebook will be published in 2022 with a new format adapted from the WBSC rulebook, with Softball Canada rule deviations listed separately. Rule change proposals will now be accepted in odd years instead of even years, while Special Operating Rules that are passed going forward will not be able to be changed or reversed before they have been implemented for a period of at least three years.

There were two changes to the Special Operating Rules for the Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships, whereas Saskatchewan and Manitoba will be able to add up to five players from the other province with that province’s release, and the defending champion will no longer count as one of a province or territory’s maximum of four allotted teams.

The AGM saw six election candidates running for five positions on Softball Canada’s Board of Directors. Jackie Dugger (Surrey, B.C.), Brooks Penrod (Saskatoon, Sask.), Bob Stanton (Fredericton, N.B.) and Andrea Wolf (Wapella, Sask.) were elected to two-year terms while Jake Dewitt (Sicamous, B.C.) was elected to a one-year term. They join President Scott Neiles (Winnipeg, Man.) and directors Ryan DeBelser (Airdrie, Alta.) and Scott Searle (Ottawa, Ont.) on the Board of Directors.

Softball Canada would like to thank and congratulate outgoing past president Kevin Quinn (Stratford, P.E.I.) and Board members Lisa Down (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Lynda Turton (Wainfleet, Ont.) for their long-term involvement on our Board of Directors. Their dedication and passion for our sport has been outstanding over the last few decades and the softball community owes them so much for all of their contributions to our game.

2020 Bursary Recipients
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the AGM being held virtually in 2020, Softball Canada did not award the Athlete, Coach, Umpire or Volunteer of the Year awards this year and has deferred its Hall of Fame inductions to 2021. However, Softball Canada has recognized the following four recipients of our Ethel Boyce Achievement Award and Claud Deschamps Memorial Fund, each receiving a $1,000 bursary to be used towards their studies.

This year’s recipients of the Claude Deschamps Memorial Fund are Thomas Baker from Kitchener, Ont. and Alexis Huggart from Treherne, Man.

Thomas Baker began his second year at Queen’s University in Engineering. A member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Twins, the Hamilton Pirates and the Nith River Monsters, Baker won a gold medal at both the 2019 U23 Men’s Provincial Championship and the U19 Ontario Elimination Tournament followed by a fourth-place finish at the last U19 Men’s Canadian Championships in Owen Sound where he was named to the All-Star Team. He was recently named to Team Ontario for the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara.

Alexis Huggart  is in her final year of studies in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. A member of the 2017 Junior Women’s National Team, Huggart represented Canada at the U19 Women’s World Cup in Clearwater, Fla. where her team finished fourth. She played three full seasons with the University of Calgary Dinos Softball Team and attended the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association (CCSA) National Championship in each of those three seasons, winning a silver (2019) and a bronze (2018) medal while being named a First Team outfielder in 2017 and 2019 and Second Team in 2018. This past summer she had the opportunity to play with the Calgary Xtreme.

The Ethel Boyce Memorial Award has been awarded to Damara Begin from Delta, B.C. and Cassa Courtney from Surrey, B.C.

Damara Begin is in her fifth and final year of a Bachelor of Arts program in Psychology at the University of British Columbia after transferring from the University of Central Florida. She played two seasons at UCF followed by two more with the UBC Thunderbirds. Begin won a gold medal as a member of Team BC at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, batting .433 with a homerun and 13 RBIs in the tournament. She has previously a volunteer coach in the Delta Heat organization.

Cassa Courtney is in her fourth year of a Kinesiology degree at the University of British Columbia after transferring from Douglas College after two years. At Douglas College, she was a two-time First Team All-Star in the Northern Region and was then recognized as a NAIA First Team All Conference Player and All-Conference Academic Student in her first year with UBC in 2019. Courtney was also a member of the gold-medal winning Team BC at the 2017 Canada Summer Games and was also an apprentice coach at the 2018 BC Summer Games.

The next Softball Canada Annual General Meeting has been scheduled to take place November 11-13, 2021 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
p: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105 | m: (613) 795-1996
w: | e: gleblanc@softba