Softball South Africa Compliance officers will be trained to ensure that all softball teams, players and fields in the nation are ready to start with practice sessions and games this month.

Softball South Africa (SSA), the national governing body for the sport, is working on the final touches to put softball athletes and teams back on the field, and to have the sport practiced nationwide following the pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SSA is training national and provincial compliance officers to sanction every softball competition and ensure that the SSA COVID-19 risk assessment, mitigation checklist and prevention guidelines are complied with. SSA aims to return to competition by the second week of October.

“We are determined to train provincial compliance officers and ensure they are well trained to become trainers, and no softball event will be sanctioned without compliance”, said SSA President Mashilo Matsetela.

In May, SSA formed a forum that worked on preparations to take softball back to the field of play. The forum started by crafting a document on protocols for health and safety that were submitted to South Africa’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture for approval. This was also aimed at providing a framework and general recommendations to Softball South Africa’s affiliates for the safe return to the playing of softball during the global COVID-19 Pandemic.

The protocols were developed in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the organisation of sporting events, and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Safe Return to Baseball/Softball – COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines published in May 2020.

South Africa’s National Softball Provincial Championship has been rescheduled to March/April 2021 and will still be hosted by Mpumalanga province.